Continuing the excellence
By Brandon Comeaux
The 2017 baseball and softball seasons have come to a close for the McNeese Cowboys and Cowgirls. Both programs had very successful seasons as their head coaches took their fans on quite a ride, further establishing themselves as the best in the Southland Conference.
Justin Hill – McNeese Baseball Head Coach
In his fourth season leading the Cowboys, the 13th head coach in McNeese baseball history led the program to a fourth consecutive 30-win season. The team’s 37-20 record in 2017 was the best during his tenure in Lake Charles.
This season he led his Cowboys against some of the top-ranked programs in the country. One of the highlights was a 5-4 victory at Joe Miller Ballpark in Lake Charles against the LSU Tigers, the number 4 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. Another highlight was a 32-4 beatdown over ULM, the last program Hill was at before coaching at McNeese.
The Cowboys also did a great job protecting its home field, going 22-5 in their friendly confines.
McNeese won its first Southland Conference title in 11 years under Hill’s leadership, going 22-8 in SLC play. Hill was named SLC Coach of the Year for his efforts.
James Landreneau – McNeese Softball Head Coach
In his first season at the helm, James Landreneau continued the success of Joanna Hardin, who handed off a successful program to Landreneau on her way to the University of Virginia.
But, Landreneau had a huge hand in Coach Hardin’s success at McNeese as her hitting coach and recruiting coordinator since 2013. Coming into the 2017 season, McNeese had won 3 conference championships with Landreneau on the coaching staff – 2013, 2014 and 2016.
In 2017, Landreneau led his team to a dominant showing in Southland Conference play, going 24-3 in SLC play and leading the team through SLC Tournament play with 3 dominant run-rule victories.
The Cowboy’s season ultimately ended in the same place that it did in 2016 – at the Baton Rouge Regional. They were eliminated by the LSU Tigers after beating Fairfield University in an elimination game.
It was another season that ended with an SLC Championship and showed the Cowgirls can play with the best of the best.