McNeese swatted five of its nine hits in the ninth inning, leading to four runs that snapped a 1-1 tie and the Cowboys were able to pull out a 5-1 win over Creighton here Friday in the first game of a three-game series.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak as the Cowboys improved to 32-16 on the season with the Blue Jays fell to 22-20.
Game two will carry a 6:30 first pitch on Saturday.
McNeese starting pitcher Austin Sanders went 6 2/3 innings and allowed one unearned run and five hits in getting a no-decision. Grant Anderson came into the game with two outs in the seventh and held the Blue Jays scoreless through 2 1/3 innings in picking up the win to improve to 6-0 on the season.
The Cowboys’ nine hits were scattered among eight batters with Robbie Podorsky leading the way with a 2-for-3 outing. Podorsky also had one stolen base to give him 34 on the season, one short of tying the single-season school record of 35.
“We played well today,” said head coach Justin Hill. “Their pitcher was really tough. We got our offense going as the game went along.”
McNeese was held hitless through three innings by Creighton starter Rollie Lacy. Lacy lasted seven innings and gave up one run on four hits of work.
Podorsky led off the fourth with a single to left field to give the Cowboys their first hit of the game. He was then caught trying to steal second then after Ricky Ramirez, Jr. walked, Matt Gallier grounded into a double play to end the top half of the fourth.
The Blue Jays scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth when shortstop Thomas Luevano led off with a single then rounded the bases to third on a throwing error by Sanders on a pick-off attempt. Luevano scored on Michael Emodi’s sacrifice bunt to make it 1-0. Sanders got the next two batters out to halt any kind of potential rally.
McNeese stranded a couple of runners in the fifth inning but then tied the game at 1-1 in the sixth when Podorsky reached on a one-out walk, stole second, advanced to third on a balk, then scored on a Ramirez sacrifice fly to center field. Gallier and Joe Provenzano followed with back-to-back singles but Shane Selman flied out to right field to strand the runners at first and third.
Selman started the ninth with a single then reached second on a ground out by Dustin Duhon. Four straight singles followed, starting off with a Mitchell Rogers knock to center field to score Selman and put the Cowboys up 2-1. Will Fox and Podorsky hit back-to-back infield singles with Rogers scoring on Podorsky’s to make it 3-1.
Ramirez cleared the bases with a two-run single through the left side to put McNeese up 5-1 before the Blue Jays were able to get out of the inning.
Creighton ended the game with seven hits with Luevano picking up three of those in a 3-for-4 outing.
Blue Jay relief pitcher Ethan Decaster (4-2) took the loss after allowing four runs in two innings of work.