LAKE CHARLES – Despite outhitting its opponent, the McNeese baseball team was shutout for the second time in three games on Sunday as the Cowboys dropped their first Southland Conference series to Northwestern State in a 4-0 loss.
The loss moved McNeese (20-14, 10-5 SLC) into a three-way tie for first in the league standings along with the Demons (21-14, 10-5 SLC) and Nicholls who lost its series finale game to Central Arkansas.
"We have to remember who we are and just come out and play better in the next game," said head coach Justin Hill. "To be able to get at least one game out of the series is big for us. We just have to learn from today and move on and get ready for the next team."
The Cowboys were unable to gain any offensive momentum throughout the game as Northwestern State pitcher Austin Tanner (1-1) tossed a complete game shutout allowing just eight hits and one walk while striking out four batters.
McNeese starter Bryce Kingsley (3-3) was charged with the loss, though he pitched effectively for much of his 7.0-inning outing. Kingsley allowed one earned run on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
"I thought Bryce threw the ball really well today," explained Hill. "He gave us seven good innings and kept situations small. He did a good job in certain situations but give credit to them (Northwestern State) who came up with some big plays."
Five Cowboys recorded a hit in the game and were led by Andrew Guillotte, Jackson Gooch and Reed Gordy who each collected two hits.
The Demons grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning when second baseman Edwin Gomez sent a Kingsley pitch down the left-field line scoring shortstop Joel Atkinson from second.
NSU tacked on three insurance runs in the top of the eighth when outfielder Nathan Lyons launched a three-run homer of the left field wall to give NSU a 4-0 lead and the eventual win.
The Cowboys will be back in action on Tuesday, April 15 when they travel to New Orleans for a non-conference affair with C-USA opponent Tulane. First pitch is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start.
The game will be featured on Cajun Radio-1470 AM in Lake Charles and online at cajunradio.com. Bruce Merchant will provide the call for the game. Fans can keep up with in-game updates and other information by logging on to Twitter @McNeeseBaseball.