by Hunter Bower
LAKE CHARLES – Multiple McNeese State baseball players set career highs Sunday that helped lead the Cowboys to a 15-8 victory and take the series over Valparaiso at Cowboy Diamond.
McNeese (7-3) recorded a season high 15 runs and 13 RBI with the win over the Crusaders (4-5). Eight different Cowboys recorded hits while six others registered RBI's.
Billy Sommers recorded a career-high two hits and four RBI on the day while Cameron Toole hit his first career homer along with a 3-for-4 day and one RBI.
Andrew Guillotte stole his eighth base of the season in the process to secure his spot on the all-time McNeese stolen base leaders categories with 44 career steals.
McNeese came back from a four run deficit and went on a run of seven plates to cruise to the victory.
"You never know what kind of game you are going to get in this sport," said McNeese head coach Justin Hill. "There were a couple of tough plays early that factored in and allowed them to score some runs and remain in the game. Credit to our guys who kept fighting and went through adversity to get the win today."
Kaleb Fontenot (1-0) picked up the win for the Cowboys (7-3) after relieving starter Michael Desabrais. Fontenot tossed 4.1 innings giving up just two runs (one earned) on four hits while allowing one walk and fanning four batters.
In addition to the three hits, Toole blasted his first career home run and also scored three runs of his own. Sommers went 2-for-3 in the first start of his career.
Valpo put the first runs on the board in the first inning as the Crusaders ' Jeff Edwards' single through the middle allowed Spencer Mahoney, who had a lead-off double, to score the first run. Valpo made the score 2-0 after Desabrais gave up a one-out homer to Chris Manning.
McNeese answered in the bottom of the inning scoring three runs to take the lead including the Cowboys' first home run of the year that came from the bat of Jackson Gooch who sent a dinger over the left field wall. Sommers would give McNeese the lead after sending a 2-RBI single into left field.
Valpo used a five run-four hit second inning to gain a gigantic lead over the Cowboys. A 3-RBI homer by Spencer Mahoney highlighted the inning as the Crusaders took a 7-3 lead.
Jackson Gooch came up big again for the Cowboys in the second inning as he sank a double to left center allowing two runs to score to cut the lead to just two runs. An fielding error allowed Gooch to score while Sommers sacrifice fly to erase a four run deficit.
McNeese upped the score to 10-7 in the bottom of the third as the Cowboys watched on while Cameron Toole led off with his first career homer to set the tone for the inning. Sommers along with Connor Lloyd delivered RBI's to extend the lead.
Valpo cut into the lead in the fourth but was matched in the McNeese side of the inning as the Pokes put up three more runs to take a 13-8 lead.
McNeese stretched the lead in the last innings with a Matt Williams RBI single in the sixth inning that scored Gooch who would double in the seventh inning to send in the last Cowboy run to secure the series win.
Desabrais lasted just 1.2 innings giving up six runs on six hits and struck out one.
The Crusader's Scott Jerge took the loss after giving up five runs on four hits and two walks in 1.2 innings of work.