FRISCO – The Southland Conference released its annual preseason all-conference baseball teams on Tuesday with three Sam Houston State Bearkats earning honors, per a release from league officials.
Senior catcher Gavin Johnson and sophomore outfielder Colton Cowser were each named to the preseason first team, while junior Jack Rogers was named a second team outfielder.
McNeese and Central Arkansas led the way with five selections apiece, while UIW landed four on the preseason team.
Both Cowser and Rogers were automatic selections after earning postseason honors in 2019, while Johnson snagged the nod following a junior campaign that saw him earn all-league honorable mention after helping lead the Kats to the their second straight league crown and third in the last four years.
The honor adds to a growing list of preseason honors for Cowser, who was a first team all-SLC choice and the Southland Conference Hitter of the Year as a freshman in 2019. He has already earned preseason all-America nods from Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, Perfect Game and D1Baseball.com and projects as one of the top collegiate prospects in the nation after a 2019 season that saw him hit .361 with 54 RBI and 41 total extra-base hits.
Johnson joins him on the first team at catcher after a breakout junior season that saw him hit .291 with six home runs, 35 RBI and 10 doubles. He also slugged .456 with 13 multi-hit games and eight games with multiple RBI.
Rogers, meanwhile, was a third team choice in the outfield as a sophomore in 2019. He hit throughout the lineup and was one of the top power threats the Bearkats had to offer a year ago, finishing the season with a .304/.363/.519 slash line to go with eight home runs and 30 RBI. He also finished second in the Southland with 20 doubles, becoming the first Bearkat with 20 two-baggers in a season since Anthony Azar in 2013.
The Kats are set to open up the 2020 season with a three-game series against Saint Mary’s at Don Sanders Stadium, beginning on February 14. Season tickets are currently on sale.