LAKE CHARLES – It has been 1,827 days since the McNeese Cowboys dropped a 1-8 decision to Towson University, falling to the Tigers in an opening weekend sweep. It’s an oddity in McNeese baseball history, but today it happened again, when the 2017-18 Cowboys fell to Wichita State 11-10 in Game 3 of the series.
With left-handed pitcher Bryan King on the mound, the McNeese Cowboys were ready to get their final shot at the Wichita State Shockers on Sunday morning.
Off to a promising start, the Cowboys held the Shockers scoreless in their first at-bats, while McNeese was able to get Jacob Stracner to third base after he singled out to left-field and advanced on two wild-pitches.
Shane Selman would be walked on his first time at the plate but Joe Provenzano would send his hit to the second baseman, lining up a 4-6-3 double-play for WSU and ending the inning for the Cowboys.
Wichita State would score its first of the day in the top of the second inning, scoring Dayton Dugas off a double by Travis Young. WSU didn’t stop there; a ground-out RBI by Troutwine would score Young, followed by a homerun to the left-center wall by redshirt-junior Jordan Boyer.
First baseman Provenzano Makes the catch of the game and gets the unassisted out to save McNeese from a sticky situation getting any stickier and the Cowboys were headed into the bottom of the second trailing 3-0.
A throwing error on Brett Whelton would allow Wichita State to score one, but redeems himself on the next pitch. Whelton catches Bohm attempting to steal and guns him down at second for the second out.
King would round out the inning, with a strike out for the book, guiding the Cowboys into the bottom of the third trailing 4-0.
McNeese would get its chance to tie it up after Cochran singled through the left side to score Reid Bourque. Selman would walk on his next at-bat, bringing up Provenzano with the bases loaded, only one out on the board.
Provenzano scores one with a single through the right side and Carson Maxwell followed with a sacrifice fly to score one as well. Lachlan Mayo would go down looking to end the inning, but the Cowboys were headed into the fourth with a chip on their shoulder- trailing by one.
Grant Anderson would enter in King’s place on the mound for McNeese, inheriting runners on first and third with one out on the board.
A 2-3 sacrifice bunt by Boyer would help WSU pull in its fifth run in the top of the fourth inning, but a long ball to left-field caught by Selman would restrict the Shockers to only one.
With a 5-3 deficit ahead of them, McNeese took another shot at the score board when Selman singled to right field and then scored off a double by Stracner, bringing the deficit to only one- for the second time in the contest.
Two innings in a row the Cowboys had the opportunity to tie the game but let it slip away, after Stracner was caught stealing in the 4th and then in the 5th, when Borque would go down swinging, leaving two on base.
The Shockers scored another off a Cowboy error in the 6th, extending their lead to 6-4.
Stracner reached on a hard hit up the middle and after Selman is walked, Provenzano sends one up the middle as Stracner did- scoring Stracner and giving the Cowboys yet another chance to tie the game.
Maxwell would fly out to Wichita State’s second baseman, ending the inning for McNeese and the third inning in a row in which the Cowboys left the tying run on base.
Entering at the top of the seventh, right-handed pitcher Tyler Wesley would give up two hits and an unearned run in the inning as WSU widened its advantage 7-5.
The Shockers scored two more on a stand-up double off the bat of Alex Jackson.
Behind 9-5, Wesley was able to close out the inning with two more strike-outs. Wichita State got away with three runs on three hits, with one left on base.
Stracner would continue his hot streak with his first homerun of the season in the seventh. Stracner would score Cooley and Whelton as well, bringing the Cowboys back within one of the Shockers.
Cochran followed with a single and advanced to second on the error, Selman approached the plate with the tying run on base for the fourth inning in a row.
Selman did as Selman does, avoiding his fifth walk of the game, Selman sends one over the left field wall and scores Cochran. Off Selman’s hit, the Cowboys would take their first lead of the day, ahead 10-9.
McNeese rolls into the 8th inning after scoring five runs on five hits, off one error, and left one on base. The Cowboys have left at least one on base in every inning except for the second.
Wichita State would bring in right-handed sophomore pitcher Tommy Barnhouse in the bottom of the eighth, Barnhouse pitched to only two batters on Friday, striking out both.
There would be no action for the Cowboys in the bottom of the 8th, with only one last chance to come out with the win.
With one last at-bat, the Shockers scored one more off a single through the left-side by Boyer. The bases are loaded with Shockers and Hill makes the call to bring out left-handed freshman Brody Strahan.
Strahan is able to get hard-hitter Jenista to pop up high behind the plate, Whelton makes a stunning catch almost at the wall to end the inning for Wichita State.
The Cowboys are unable to make the comeback in the final inning and fall to the Shockers 11-10.
McNeese did manage 14 hits in today’s contest, a series high for either team.
Wesley (0-1) goes in the book as the losing pitcher, giving up the lead in the ninth inning off of Boyer’s single. He finished the day five runs on five hits, striking out five in 2.2 innings pitched.
Barnhouse (1-0) earns the win for Wichita state, giving up no runs and no hits through two innings pitched. He faced six batters and struck out two.
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