McNeese’s coach Justin Hill feels good in the experienced rotation
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – McNeese, the two-time defending Southland Baseball Tournament champion, has a lot of talent to replace starting in 2021, both on the field and in the rotation.
Will Dion and Jonathan Ellison both left for professional baseball after leading the team in innings pitched a season ago. The duo started in 30 of the team’s 62 games while making 32 combined appearances.
“We knew Will Dion was going to start the first game of the conference tournament [last season], we knew that stuff,” McNeese coach Justin Hill said. “I don’t think we know some of these things yet [this season]. But they will be fun to watch.
Although a hole opens at the top of the rotation, it does not mean that the cabinet is bare.
“You’ll see the names, you’ll get used to the faces, they’re just not the ones you’re used to seeing. So the next wave of guys are coming, but they’ll be more familiar than you thought,” Hill said. “Ty Abraham, Bryson Hudgens, Christian Vega, Cameron Foster, I mean, those are some really great guys we have back.”
This group of pitchers made up a large part of the midweek, Friday and Sunday starts for McNeese in Southland’s unique four-weekend series last season.
Abraham is the team’s leading returner in innings pitched per season with a total of 63.1 in 15 total appearances, with 12 starts. Hudgens, meanwhile, became the team’s Friday night starter at the end of the season. In his last three starts, he has allowed just five earned runs in 17.2 innings.
According to Hill, Cameron Foster will likely play a larger role in the rotation after starting just one game last season. Foster appeared in 22 total games a season ago and really shone in McNeese’s run through the Southland tournament. He held Southeastern and Sam Houston to just two hits in six total innings, also collecting six strikeouts. It was part of a five appearance streak for Foster where he did not allow a point.
Only time will tell who will make the first start of the season against Stony Brook, as McNeese opens the season on Friday, February 18.
Copyright 2022 KPLC. All rights reserved.