NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Reid Bourque and Shane Selman came up with a couple of late-inning clutch base-hits in Sunday’s Southland Conference baseball series finale against Stephen F. Austin while starting pitcher Tyler Wesley and reliever Aidan Anderson stalled the Lumberjacks’ offense as the Cowboys completed their first three-game sweep on the season after a 5-1 win.
The victory was the sixth consecutive for McNeese who improved to 8-11 overall and 5-1 in conference play. SFA fell to 4-14 and 0-3.
“Winning a college baseball game on the road is hard,” said McNeese head coach Justin Hill. “Sweeping a team on the road is incredibly hard.”
Both team’s pitching came up big through the first eight innings.
McNeese starter Tyler Wesley went 5.2 scoreless innings and allowed just six hits while striking out six. He was able to get out of a few jams that saw SFA put runners in scoring position in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings but was able to work his way out of the situations.
“Tyler pitched really well and kept them off the board until we could get the offense going,” said Hill. “Aidan (Anderson) came in a big moment (two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning) with the tying run at third base and we made a play to keep the lead.”
That flowed into the top of the seventh where McNeese broke the scoreless tie after a two-out Carson Maxwell RBI single up the middle that scored Dustin Duhon who led off the inning with a walk.
Anderson sat the Lumberjacks down in order in the seventh and worked out of a two-out, two-on jam in the eighth as McNeese held a 1-0 lead going into the ninth.
That’s where both Bourque and Selman opened the game up.
After a fly out to start the inning, Julian Gonzales, who was pinch-hitting for Andrew Bryan, walked then stole second and third after an infield pop out for the second out of the inning. Maxwell was then hit-by-a-pitch and stole second to put runners at second and third.
Bourque followed with a crazy hop single through the right side that scored Gonzales and Maxwell to make it a 3-0 game. Selman then popped a two-run home run, his sixth of the season, to make it 5-1.
SFA was able to get a run in the ninth to avoid being shutout.
The Cowboys were stagnant at the plate with just four hits in the game until the ninth inning.
“I thought their pitcher (starter Trevor Kiminski) was tough today on our guys,” said Hill. “He never made any mistakes over the middle and never gave away and free passes until the end of his outing.”
Kiminski did not allow a run and just two hits in 5.1 innings of work but was lifted with one out in the sixth inning after walking back-to-back batters.
McNeese collected four of its hits and all five runs off the SFA bullpen.
“The boys had to work hard for that one,” said Hill. “We were able to break it open on a tough play in the ninth. Reid hit it hard and it took a tough hop on their second baseman. Shane gave us a little more breathing room with a big swing right after.”
Bourque and Selman combined for five of the team’s six hits – Selman 3-for-3 and Bourque 2-for-5. They each knocked in two runs and scored a run. Maxwell had the Cowboys’ only other hit.
Anderson (2-4) picked up the win in relief work for the second time this week. He allowed just one run on two hits with two walks and three strike outs in 3.1 innings of action to close out the game.
Jesus Gamez, SFA’s first of three pitchers out of the bullpen to toe the mound on the day, took the loss and dropped his record to 0-2 after he gave up a run in 1.2 innings.
McNeese will return home on Wednesday when it hosts Louisiana-Lafayette at 6 p.m. at Joe Miller Ballpark.
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