FINAL SCORE: 5-1 McNeese Cowboys.
-by Hunter Bower
LAKE CHARLES – Sophomore right-handed pitcher Kaleb Fontenot scattered only four hits and did not allow a run in seven and a third innings Sunday as he helped lead the McNeese State baseball team to a 5-1 win over Oral Roberts and clinch the weekend conference series.
The series win is McNeese's second straight in conference play as they improved to 14-8 overall and 4-2 in league action. The loss dropped Oral Roberts to 10-12 on the year and 2-4 in SLC play.
Fontenot, who replaced original starter Michael Desabrais due to sore shoulder, picked up his third win on the season in just his first start on the mound and bettered his ERA average to a 0.79 mark.
"Kaleb came out and did a great job for us today, even though he found out he was starting about two hours before the game," said Cowboys head coach Justin Hill. "His performance showed a lot with him being prepared in that moment. Hate to see anyone to go down with an injury but (Michael) Desabrais wasn't able to go so Kaleb filled in and did a great job."
At the plate the Cowboys continued their offensive prowess by recording nine hits on the day with five different batters getting a hit. Designated hitter Lucas Quary was 3-for-4 on the day with a double and one RBI. Quary is now hitting .324 (11-for-34) with a double, three homers and 11 RBI this year, while McNeese is hitting .302 and are averaging 11 hits per game.
In addition to Quary's big game, Andrew Guillotte (2-for-5, 2 doubles) and Chayse Marion (2-for-3) each collected multi-hit games while second baseman had two doubles on the day and scored two runs. Guillotte finished the week batting .444 (8-for-18) with four doubles, four runs scored and one RBI.
With ORU runners in scoring position and two outs on the board, Fontenot was able to work his way out of an early jam, forcing a fly out to end the inning and the threat of early runs.
"Kaleb got into some early traffic but was able to work out of it and settled down and pitched a great game today," said Hill.
The Cowboys jumped out to a two-run lead in the bottom the third inning. Following a Cameron Toole walk and a left field double from Guillotte, centerfielder Jackson Gooch sent a single deep into right field to plate the runners and take a 2-0 McNeese lead.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the Cowboys unleashed for three runs in the bottom of the fifth. For the second straight inning, Guillotte led off with a double sent down the left field line. Cantu's single gave the Cowboy's runners on the corners before a Gooch walk loaded the bases with no outs. In the meantime, Guillotte found his way home after a fielding error allowed McNeese to gain its third run of the game.
With bases loaded again later in the inning, Quary blasted a single deep to left field allowing Gooch to run home while Marion was advanced home on a balk the next play to give McNeese a 5-0 lead.
The Cowboys will be back in action on Wednesday, March 25 as they travel to take on Sam Houston State in a non-conference weekday match-up. The Bearkats defeated McNeese, 18-6, earlier in the season in Lake Charles.