Top-ranked Cajuns power past Cowboys in non-conference game

LAKE CHARLES, LA - The following in a news release from the McNeese State Sports office:

The McNeese baseball team cleared just about every hurdle it could Wednesday as it hung in with the top-ranked team in the nation in front of a capacity crowd.

Unfortunately, the Cowboys were not able to clear that last hurdle as Louisiana-Lafayette used a six-run eighth inning to power past the Cowboys and take a 14-8 victory.

The teams played in front of the fourth-largest crowd in Cowboy Diamond history as 1,919 fans packed in to see the I-10 rivals compete in one of the biggest mid-week games in recent McNeese baseball history.

McNeese (19-12) dropped its fourth straight mid-week game while Louisiana-Lafayette (31-4) improved to 14-0 on the road.

"We gave them a lot of opportunities tonight and some freebies we didn't need to give them tonight," said McNeese head coach Justin Hill. "I didn't think we played well necessarily but we did fight back. They just fought back one more time than we did tonight."

The Cajuns scored 14 runs off of 13 hits with two homers while the Cowboys recorded nine hits, eight runs and two home runs.

ULL third baseman Ryan Leonards gave the Cajuns a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out wild pitch.

The Cowboys responded in the bottom frame and took a 2-1 lead.

ULL posted a four-run second inning, highlighted by a three-run home run by catcher Michael Strentz.

In the bottom of the second, McNeese third baseman Reed Gordy sent his second homer of the season over the left field wall to cut the Cajuns' lead to two runs.

After scoring another run in the third, ULL was blanked for the next three innings as Collin Kober came in to relieve on the mound and allowed just one run to score in the seventh and gave up three hits total.

The Cowboys took a 7-6 lead in the sixth inning as third baseman Matt Gallier sent his first four-bagger of the season over the wall and scoring two runs.

After both teams each tallied a run in the seventh inning, the Cajuns erupted for six runs in the top of the eighth inning to regain the lead at 13-8.

Cole Prejean (3-2) was charged with the loss for the Cowboys after giving up four runs on two hits and one walk in just one inning.

McNeese returns to Southland Conference action this weekend as the Cowboys look to score their fifth-straight series win against Northwestern State.

The weekend series will be featured on Cajun Radio-1470 AM in Lake Charles and online at Tom Hoefer will provide the call for the game.

Fans can keep up with in-game updates and other information by logging on to Twitter @McNeeseBaseball.