by Hunter Bower
LAKE CHARLES – Outfielder Jackson Gooch and catcher Cameron Toole each drove in two runs to lead the McNeese baseball team in another comeback 4-1 win over Houston Baptist to complete the series sweep Saturday afternoon at Cowboy Diamond.
The Cowboys (19-11, 9-3 SLC) completed their first sweep over a Southland Conference opponent since taking three games from Northwestern State at home last season. HBU dropped to 14-14 overall on the season and 5-7 in conference play.
"When you have the opportunity to sweep an opponent, you know that they are going to bring everything they have and throw it at you," said head coach Justin Hill. "Their pitcher has some great numbers coming into this series and no-hit us for most of the game. Our offense got going and our pitching worked out of jams to come back and win. It was impressive to see our kids come back and win this game today."
Sophomore right-hander Bryce Kingsley (3-2) earned the victory after throwing six innings, allowing just one run to score despite giving up 10 hits in the outing. Kingsley surrendered one run in the third and controlled the next five innings as he held the Huskies scoreless.
Lucas Quary was credited with his first save of the season after coming to toss the last three innings in relief work, allowing only one hit and no runs.
After being held hitless through 5.2 innings, the Cowboys unleashed for five hits, all by different McNeese batters to take control of the game. Toole, along with center fielder Andrew Guillotte, reached base on a walk from the HBU pitching staff.
"We have continued to talk about getting better as a team and putting together a complete weekend and we finally did that," said Hill. Our guys got a couple of walks and then some big hits to take the wind out of HBU, so our kids never gave up. I am proud of them."
Disaster was avoided in the early going as the Cowboys escaped the first inning Toole was able to keep an HBU run from scoring and also stopped another run from crossing home plate in the second inning.
Similar to the first two games of the series, the Huskies got out in front with an RBI single from Jordan McCoy to take a 1-0 lead in the third inning.
The McNeese bats came alive beginning with a 2-RBI single from Gooch that scored Guillotte and Toole, who were both walked earlier in the inning, to take a 2-1 lead over the Huskies.
The Cowboys extended their lead to 4-1 in the seventh when Toole laced a two-RBI double deep in to right field. The double was Toole's second on the season.