LAKE CHARLES – The McNeese Cowboy baseball team dropped Saturday's game against Wichita State 11-2. Junior Shane Selman was the only Cowboy to earn an RBI in the loss, batting in both of McNeese's runs in the fourth inning with his second homerun of the season.
McNeese managed only six hits, two of which came off the bat of Jake Cochran, the others coming during at bats from Selman, Carson Maxwell, and Welles Cooley.
Head coach Justin Hill mentions the hot-cold moments the Cowboys experienced at the plate, "It'll be important, going forward to string good at-bats together. I think we did a great job in the continuation of yesterday's game, Carson Maxwell did a good job picking up where we left off. Even if it means working the pitcher, getting the pitch count up, taking a walk- it's about getting on base."
Saturday started with the conclusion of Friday night's game one versus Wichita State after the contest was postponed due to a heavy fog rolling into Joe Miller Ballpark.
The McNeese Cowboys picked up on Saturday with Selman on second, after the junior earned a ground rule double before the delay. His double brought in Cochran who was sitting on third base off a long triple out in centerfield.
Joe Provenzano would lead-off with a single to center, giving Selman the time he needed to score.
Provenzano steals second on a wild pitch and Maxwell walks, with runners on first and second and the opportunity to tie the game, Lachlan Mayo approached the plate.
Wichita State made a quick pitching change and brought out sophomore right-hander Tommy Barnhouse. Barnhouse would sit down both Mayo and then Jacob Stracner, ending game one.
McNeese would fall in the first of three in the weekend series, 10-7. The Cowboys finished with 10 hits and the lone error from Mayo in the 7th. They left nine on base over the stretch of the game, including two in the ninth.
The loss would go to starting pitcher, junior Aidan Anderson, who finished his 2017-18 debut with 4.1 innings pitch, four earned runs, and four hits.
The Shocker's relief pitcher in the ninth would earn the win, after 0.2 inning pitched, facing only two batters and striking out both.
Wichita State wasted no time in scoring in game two, quickly putting one on the board against Cayne Ueckert.
Junior right-handed pitcher Cayne Ueckert earned his first start of the season, pitching five innings and allowing four runs on four hits. He struck out five in 24 batters faced, firing off 66 pitches. Ueckert took the loss in game two.
"Our pitchers did a fair job today, but we need to make better pitches in upcoming games. We let some balls go over the middle and we we're executing pitches as well as we needed too" Hill said.
WSU's Alec Bohm sent a double into right-center, scoring Luke Ritter who walked to lead off the inning.
The Cowboys were able to close out the inning, preventing any additional runs with a strike-out by Ueckert and a diving catch by Stracner in center-field.
In the third, Wichita State would score one after Greyson Jenista made his way around the bases, as he was walked, stole second, and advanced to third on an error. Mason O'Brien followed up with a single to score Jenista for the Shocker's only run of the inning.
McNeese's luck would continue to fall short in the bottom of the third, as the Cowboys were able to get able to get both Stracner and Reid Borque on base, but both would be thrown out at second on the following at bat. Wells Cooley would end the inning as he is sat down looking.
With two outs on the board in the fourth, WSU's Boyer doubled to right-field, scoring Troutwine for the Shocker's third run of the evening. All three runs scored so far reached base on a lead-off walk.
Ueckert would allow just one more hit in the fourth, earned by Wichita State's Ritter, who doubled out to center field and scored Boyer, advancing the Shocker's lead 4-0 headed into the bottom of the fourth.
Continuing his momentum from his success at the plate yesterday, Selman sent the ball way over the left-field wall, scoring Cochran who reach on a double just before.
The Cowboys two RBI in the fourth would bring them within two of Wichita State's lead with five left to play.
The fifth inning goes scoreless for both teams as Ueckert adds two more strikeouts to his stat sheet, sending two Shockers back to the dug-out swinging.
Sophomore Chris Campbell would head to the mound for the Cowboys, but McNeese wouldn't have much luck in the 6th as WSU's Troutwine would send one of Campbell's pitches high above the scoreboard, bringing in another two for the Shockers.
Wichita State scored one more off Campbell, when O'Brien singled to left field, advancing Jenista and scoring Ritter.
Campell was able to catch Dugas looking and give the Cowboys a break after allowing three in the top of the 6th. McNeese now trailed 7-2 with Cooley leading off for the Cowboys in the bottom of the inning.
Cooley reached on a single up the middle, followed by Cochran who was able to drop one just beyond second base to advanced Cooley to second.
With runners on first and second and Selman on deck- the Shockers decided to make a pitching change, bringing in junior right-hander Clayton McGinness.
Both Selman and Provenzano would fly-out, leaving two on base for the Cowboys.
Trailing 7-2 in the top of the 7th, Coach Hill elected to bring out sophomore Gavin Sonnier. The right-hander out of Kinder finished the 2017 campaign with a 3.38 era in 13.1 innings pitched.
"We gave up too many freebies today, too many walks and hit by pitch. They had 11 runs on 10 hits, that's just too much traffic and that's not going to be a successful formula for winning baseball" Hill said.
In the eighth, Wichita State's Jenista sent it down the right-field line, good for a double. With runners on second and third, Alec Bohm earned a 2RBI off his double that fell in shallow left center field, the Shockers build a hefty 7-run lead, ahead of the Cowboys 9-2.
Austin Briggs would earn some play time, entering during the top of the 8th with runners on the corners and two outs on the board- he was the only pitcher to see the mound in both game one and two.
"When we talk about player roles and how different pitchers can be successful, we are still learning who we can rely on to give us a good inning, sit down, then come back out and rise to the occasion again" Hill said.
The Cowboys struggled to put an end to WSU's rally, as they scored two more before the end of the inning.
McNeese is unable to recuperate in the bottom of the ninth and goes down 11-2 in game two.
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