Lions place league-high 8 players on Preseason All-Conference Teams
Published 1:35 pm Thursday, February 10, 2022
The Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team led all Southland Conference institutions with eight representatives on the 2022 Preseason All-Conference Baseball Teams, released by the league office Wednesday.
SLU placed first baseman Preston Faulkner, shortstop Evan Keller, catcher Bryce Grizzaffi, outfielder Tyler Finke and right-handed pitcher Brennan Stuprich on the first team. Representing the Lions on the second team are second baseman Rhett Rosevear, outfielder Christian Garcia and right-handed pitcher Will Kinzeler.
An All-Conference selection last season, Faulkner is a preseason selection hit .269 with a team-leading eight home runs and 48 RBIs. The native of Denham Springs, Louisiana ranked fifth in the Southland in sacrifice flies (4), sixth in both RBIs and walks (31), 11th in home runs and 12th in HBPs (11).
The Lions’ primary leadoff hitter last season, Keller reached base in a team-high 39 consecutive games from a March 3 non-conference contest against Tulane through the first game of a May 14 doubleheader at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The native of Destrehan, Louisiana hit .315 with a team-high 15 doubles and 47 runs scored. His 19 stolen bases rank second on the team and third in the Southland. He also ranks sixth in on-base percentage (.425), eighth in doubles and ninth in runs scored.
Splitting time behind the dish last season, Grizzaffi hit .295 with four doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs. He also scored 20 runs. The native of Morgan City, Louisiana threw out nine would-be base stealers in 14 attempts for a conference-high 64 percent success rate.
Finke led Southeastern with a .318 batting average last season and his 22 stolen bases tied Keller for both second on the squad and third in the Southland. A consistently reliable bat, the native of Columbus, Indiana was held hitless just five times in the second half of the season.
The 2021 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, Stuprich finished second in the league with a 2.17 ERA while also ranking fifth in innings pitched (74.1), seventh in wins (6) and 10th in opponent batting average (.225).
Along the way, the native of Kenner, Louisiana picked up Southland pitcher of the week honors (April 12) after logging eight shutout innings over regular-season champ Abilene Christian and was voted the Louisiana Pitcher of the Week by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (April 26) after he tossed a shutout on the road against conference-leading New Orleans.
Rosevear solidified a role in the second half of last season on the way to earning All-Tournament honors. The native of Denham Springs led the team with a .477 on-base percentage. During the Southland Tournament in Hammond, Rosevear hit .500 with a double, home run and three RBIs.
Garcia appeared in and started every game last season for the Lions, leading the team in walks and ranking second in hits. His .422 on-base percentage ranked seventh in the Southland. The native of Slidell, Louisiana ranked fourth on the squad in stolen bases (14) as SLU finished the season sixth nationally with 110 total steals.
A two-time conference pitcher of the week last season, Kinzeler his freshman season with a 4-4 W-L record and 4.33 ERA. The native of Covington, Louisiana nearly averaged a strikeout per inning pitched, finishing with 68 strikeouts in 70.2 innings of work.
Southeastern opens the regular season at home with a three-game series against SIU Edwardsville, Feb. 18-20, at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
A rugged non-conference schedule awaits SLU in 2022, with nearly one-third of the overall competition and more than half of its road slate against teams that advanced to the NCAA postseason this past year. The Lions will face three opponents ranked in the preseason Top 5, No. 2-ranked Arkansas, No. 4-ranked LSU and No. 5-ranked Ole Miss.
SLU will host 28 home games, comprising more than half of its regular-season schedule. The Southland Conference’s annual attendance leader welcomes postseason participants Louisiana Tech (March 2), Ole Miss (March 15), South Alabama (Apr. 19) and Southern Miss (Apr. 26) to Hammond.
TICKET & PARKING INFORMATION
Baseball season tickets and parking passes are currently on sale and may be purchased by contacting the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Fridays.
Season ticket prices are $130 for general admission and $175 for reserved grandstand seating. A $250 family pass grants a family of four (two adults and two youth) general admission seating for every regular-season game. Parking passes cost $125 for general parking or $185 for a reserved spot.
CLEAR BAG POLICY
Southeastern Athletics enforces a clear bag policy for all ticketed events. The policy mirrors safety precautions required for entrance to professional and collegiate sporting venues throughout the country. For more information on the clear bag policy, visit www.LionSports.net/Clear.
DIAMOND CLUB / S CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the baseball program are encouraged to join the Diamond Club. Lion baseball alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.
All membership fees and donations to both the Diamond Club and S Club (baseball) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern baseball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.
For more information on Lions Baseball, follow @LionUpBaseball or @MattRiser17 on Twitter, @LionUpBaseball on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.
2022 BASEBALL PRESEASON SOUTHLAND ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
|Preston Faulkner*||Southeastern||1B||Gr.||Denham Springs, La.|
|Daunte Stuart*||Northwestern State||2B||So.||The Woodlands, Texas|
|Kasten Furr*||New Orleans||3B||So.||Ruston, La.|
|Evan Keller*||Southeastern||SS||Gr.||Destrehan, La.|
|Bryce Grizzafi||Southeastern||C||Jr.||Morgan City, La.|
|Tre Obregon III*||McNeese||DH||R-Sr.||Sallisaw, Okla.|
|Tyler Finke*||Southeastern||OF||Sr.||Columbus, Ind.|
|Payton Harden*||McNeese||OF||R-Jr.||Atascocita, Texas|
|Pearce Howard*||New Orleans||OF||Sr.||Silver Spring, Md.|
|Cal Carver*||Northwestern State||SP||Jr.||San Antonio, Texas|
|Brennan Stuprich*||Southeastern||SP||So.||Kenner, La.|
|Hayden Thomas||Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||SP||Jr.||Leander, Texas|
|Caleb Seroski*||New Orleans||RP||So.||New Iberia, La.|
|Josh Caraway||Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||U||So.||Roanoke, Texas|
|Brennen Bales||HBU||1B||Jr.||Nebraska City, Neb.|
|Rhett Rosevear||Southeastern||2B||So.||Denham Springs, La.|
|Austin Cain*||Nicholls||3B||Jr.||St. Joseph, Ill.|
|Grant Smith||UIW||SS||Sr.||Albuquerque, N.M.|
|Justin Taylor||Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||C||Jr.||Dripping Springs, Texas|
|Anthony Herron Jr.||New Orleans||DH||Jr.||Chicago, Ill.|
|Christian Garcia||Southeastern||OF||Jr.||Slidell, La.|
|Julian Gonzales||McNeese||OF||R-Sr.||Sulphur, La.|
|Brendan Ryan||Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||OF||Jr.||Leawood, Kan.|
|Will Kinzeler||Southeastern||SP||So.||Covington, La.|
|Donovan Ohnoutka||Northwestern State||SP||Sr.||Natchitoches, La.|
|Jaime Ramirez||Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||SP||So.||San Antonio, Texas|
|Drayton Brown||Northwestern State||RP||So.||Nacogdoches, Texas|
|Nixon Brannan||UIW||U||So.||San Angelo, Texas|
* – Member of 2021 All-Southland Conference teams