LAKE CHARLES - McNeese State ran up an early lead but the Cowboys let it get away from them and dropped an 8-6 non-conference baseball decision to UL Monroe on Tuesday.
The Cowboys had tagged Warhawk starter Alex Hermeling for four runs in the bottom of the second inning to go up 4-1. They then added two more runs with single scores in the fifth and sixth innings and were up 6-5 after seven innings.
That's when UL Monroe sent eight batters to the plate, took advantage of two hit batsmen, a walk and a pair of hits for three runs for what turned into a two run victory.
The loss drops the Cowboys record to 18-24 on the season and leaves UL Monroe with a 22-23 mark. The two teams will meet again in Monroe on May 15 in a game that will have a 3 p.m. start.
Jason Gibson had started the game on the mound for the Cowboys and he left with a 5-4 lead, hurling five innings of seven hit, four run ball while walking three and striking out five.
Ryan Sampere came on in relief and did a good job until he got into the eighth inning. He gave up a run in the sixth that tied the score but then he hit the first two batters he faced in the eighth and walked the bases loaded after there was one out.
Tyler Parke came on then and gave up a two run single and then another run on another single before getting out of the inning.
McNeese had no answer in the bottom of the eighth or bottom of the ninth as the Cowboys sent six batters up and all six went down, three of them on strikeouts.
The Cowboys four runs in the second inning had been scored on a RBI double by Nick Eubanks, a bases loaded walk to Andrew Guillotte, a wild pitch and a ground out to shortstop.
In the fifth the Cowboys got another run on a UL Monroe wild pitch and they tallied a single run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Renny Weber.
Among UL Monroe's 12 hits in the game was a solo home run by Joey Rapp over the centerfield fence.
McNeese only had five hits in the game and no Cowboy got more than one.
Fraser Adams, the second of two ULM pitchers, was credited with the victory, hurling 4.2 innings of one hit, one run ball while striking out five Cowboys. He evened his record at 1-1. Sampere was the loser, taking his second loss without a win.