LAKE CHARLES – Big innings by its opponents has been a sharp thorn in the McNeese Cowboys’ side as of late and that didn’t change in Friday night’s Southland Conference baseball opener against Central Arkansas when the Bears needed just one inning, the second to be exact, to score all six of their runs in a 6-1 win over the Cowboys.
The series will continue on Saturday at 3 p.m. in what has been changed to a double header due to the impending weather on Sunday. The third game of the series will start 45 minutes following the conclusion of the day’s first game.
It’s also Military and First Responders Appreciation Day as those with valid IDs will be admitted to the DH free of charge. Ticket prices for the twinbill are $20 for adult reserve, $15 for adult general admission and $9 for kids GA.
McNeese (2-11, 0-1 SLC) managed just three hits in the game and those were scattered over three different innings as UCA (706, 1-0) starting pitcher Tyler Gray kept the Cowboy bats silence in his seven innings of work where he allowed just one run on the three hits while striking out a career-high 14 batters.
The only run for the Cowboys came in the bottom of the eighth inning which didn’t require a hit.
Julian Gonzales, who entered to pinch-hit, led the inning off with a walk and Carson Maxwell followed with the same result to put runners on first and second with no outs. The runners moved up a bag on a groundout to first base by Reid Bourque then a grounder to the right side by Jake Cochran sent Gonzales home to put McNeese’s lone run on the board.
Aidan Anderson (0-4) suffered his fourth Friday night start but was only touched in that big second inning. Take that inning out, Anderson threw five innings and allowed just three hits, no runs and struck out four. He retired the side in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Gray (2-0) had the offense on his side.
The Bears put up eight hits in the game with five of those coming in the second inning with the big shots being a three-run double by first baseman Tyler Smith to make it a 6-0 game. But before his big hit, shortstop Josh Somdecerff put the Bears on the board with a two-run home run to make it a 2-0 game.
Smith was the only UCA batter to get multiple hits in the game as he finished 2-for-4 from the plate with three runs batted in.
Anderson was the first of five pitchers to see action for McNeese on the night. Austin Briggs, Chris Campbell, Brody Strahan and Gavin Sonnier combined to throw three hitless and scoreless innings with four strike outs.
Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.