By McNeese Sports Information Assistant Hunter Bower:
LAKE CHARLES – Eight innings of valiant pitching from McNeese sophomore Kaleb Fontenot kept the Cowboy baseball team in contention for a crucial series opening win Friday evening but an eight run outing in the 11th inning allowed a scrappy Southeastern Louisiana team to score a 10-2 victory over the Cowboys in game one of the three-game weekend series.
The Cowboys (27-22, 16-9 SLC) fell into a slump in the last frame allowing 12 SLU batters to reach base before retiring their first batter on the last out of the inning. The Lions (30-21 15-10 SLC) fired off six hits and used a McNeese fielding error to tack on eight runs for the eventual win.
"I thought both teams played well and executed when they needed to for 10 great innings of baseball," said head coach Justin Hill. "We pitched well for the most part early but sometimes that one inning gets away from you and you just can't recover. That is baseball sometimes."
Fontenot's eight innings of work were nearly flawless as he allowed just one run to score, in the eighth inning, off of six hits and fanned five batters in the process. The Ville Platte native did not give up a walk in his outing and would earn a no-decision.
Cole Prejean (5-4) took the loss after giving up six runs (four earned) on four hits and three walks in two-thirds of the last inning.
Senior outfielder Jackson Gooch led the McNeese offense batting 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Right fielder James Cantu went 2-for-5 while third baseman Reed Gordy drove in a run.
After seven scoreless innings, the Lions broke the seal scoring a run in the top of the eighth. The Cowboys would go on to take a 2-1 lead over Southeastern Louisiana in the bottom of the inning after Gooch used an RBI-double to score second baseman Andrew Guillotte to tie the ballgame. Gordy put the Cowboys out in front after coming up with a clutch hit that allowed Gooch to score.
The Lions tied the ball game up again in the top of the last frame on a ground out from third baseman Brett Hoffman that would send both teams into extra innings.
The weekend series will continue Saturday as the Cowboys and the Lions meet at 3 p.m.