LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - McNeese State baseball had a chance to take an easier road on their way to a potential Southland Conference Tournament title.
In order to get to make things easier on themselves, they had to beat the Lamar Cardinals.
That did not happen.
McNeese lost to Lamar in their second game at the SLC Tournament, 10-7.
The Cowboys kept it close most of the way. The major turning point might have been in the sixth inning. McNeese State's starter Zach Butler gave up a home run to Lamar's Joey Latulip. On the very next pitch, Butler threw the ball over the next batter Clayton Farhat's head. The umpire must have determined Butler's throw was intentional because he ejected Butler from the game.
Cowboys head coach Terry Burrows told 7Sports that was the turning point of the ballgame.
"Yeah, there's no question it was," Burrows said. "There's no doubt about it. They're looking for anything to get back into the game and obviously, after the home run, that puts them up in that situation."
McNeese was down 4-3 going into the eighth inning. Lamar put up four runs in the top of the eighth. The Cowboys kept the game close by scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Lamar took an 8-7 lead into the top of the ninth, where they added two more runs.
Now the Cowboys will play the Southeastern Lions in an elimination game on Friday, May 28th. If the Cowboys win, they will play Lamar again at 4pm later that day. McNeese beat Southeastern in their first SLC Tourney game on May 26th.
First pitch for the MSU/SLU game is scheduled for 9am.