SAN MARCOS, TX – McNeese State bowed out of the Southland Conference post season baseball tournament here Thursday after dropping a 7-1 decision to regular season champion and No. 1 seed Sam Houston State.
The two teams had entered the game after losing in opening round outings on Wednesday, the Cowboys to UT Arlington and the Bearkats to TAM-Corpus Christi.
It was a big inning by the Bearkats that chased the Cowboys out of the tournament.
The game had rolled along scoreless through five innings. Sam Houston had made several stabs at scoring but standout Cowboy plays with runners in scoring positions had batted down the attacks.
The sixth inning was the difference. In that frame Sam Houston sent eight players to plate, scoring five runs on four hits. Back to back home runs by Luke Plucheck and Kevin Miller keyed the Bobcat inning.
An error by Cowboy first baseman Nick Eubanks – his first of the year – had started the inning off.
McNeese came back with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame but the Cowboys couldn't catch up. Matt Henry led off the inning with a double, went to third on a Sam Houston error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Guillotte.
"They had that big inning and that was a key for them," Cowboy head coach Terry Burrows said. "And, Jackson (Sam Houston pitcher Justin) did a good job. We couldn't get anything going offensively."
The Cowboys had a total of five hits in the game, Tyler Klouser getting two and Henry, Connor Lloyd and Guillotte one each.
They had very few scoring opportunities. In the third inning the Cowboys got their first hit of the game, a single by Klouser. He got to third but didn't score.
In the eighth inning the Cowboys got runners on second and third with two outs but get a run in and in the ninth, Lloyd opened the inning with a single but was forced at second.
Tyler McDonald hurled 7.2 innings for the Cowboys and received the loss, his fourth in eight decisions. He gave up 15 hits but only three earned runs (out of seven), walked two and struckout two.
Trey Brown closed out the game, pitching the final 1.1 innings and not giving up a hit or a walk.
McNeese finished the season with a 24-30 overall record. The Cowboys placed fifth in the league standings with a 17-16 mark.