HAMMOND, La. – Three members of the Southeastern Louisiana University baseball program earned a spot on the Southland Conference’s Preseason All-Conference Team and conference peers picked the Lions second in the preseason poll, the league office announced Friday.

Dalton Aspholm, Bryce Grizzaffi and Will Kinzeler represent the Lions on the Preseason All-Conference squad, earning spots on the second team. Returning members of the postseason All-Conference automatically earn a spot on the preseason team. The remaining members are voted on by conference head coaches.

A senior right-hander from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Aspholm is one of the top power arms in the Southland. He averaged 12.77 strikeouts per nine innings last season, a total that ranks as the fourth-highest in program history.

The toughest catcher in the Southland to run on, Grizzaffi threw out 15-of-31 would-be base stealers last season (48.4 percent). On the flip side, the native of Morgan City, Louisiana stole 10 bases in 14 attempts. Possessing a keen eye at the plate, he chalked up the lowest strikeout percentage in the SLU lineup.

Kinzeler turned in eight quality starts in his 14 appearances last season. Despite missing a start in Week 12, he still ranked second in innings pitched (84.1) and fourth in ERA (3.84). The junior right-hander from Covington, Louisiana also ranked eighth in strikeouts (63).

The defending conference tournament champion, SLU received 10 of the 18 possible first-place votes in the Southland’s preseason poll. McNeese (7) and Northwestern State (1) received the remaining first-place votes.

The Lions accumulated 115 total votes, placing them three votes shy of defending regular-season champion McNeese (118). Re-joining the Southland after one season in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), Lamar (88) received the third-most overall votes followed by New Orleans (87), Northwestern State (65), Nicholls (59), A&M-Corpus Christi (55), HCU (41) and UIW (20).

The 2023 baseball preseason poll was voted upon by head coaches and sports information directors from around the conference. Voting for one’s own school and players was not permitted.


Fan Day and the annual Alumni Game is coming up Sunday at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.

The event kicks off with an autograph session from 12:45 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. prior to infield warmups.

Season ticket holders will be able to pick up their tickets from representatives of the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office beginning at 1 p.m.

First pitch for the scrimmage, which will pit the 2023 Lions against a team featuring SLU baseball alums, is scheduled for 2 p.m. After the game, kids of all ages can run the bases.

Admission is free.

Southeastern opens the season at 6 p.m., Feb. 17, at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field against Lafayette College. The opening weekend series against the Easton, Pennsylvania-based institution is slated for four games, with a Saturday doubleheader book-ended by single games Friday and Sunday.

{Courtesy: Southeastern Athletics}