LAKE CHARLES – UL Lafayette took advantage of four infield singles and a wild pitch in the first two innings to grab a 4-0 lead, then was able to hold off a couple of McNeese rallies later in the game to beat the Cowboys 5-2 in front of 1,952 fans – the fifth-largest crowd in school history.
The loss dropped the Cowboys to 8-12 overall and snapped a six-game winning streak as they head into a three-game Southland Conference road series at Nicholls beginning Friday. The Cajuns improved to 9-11 and beat McNeese for the third straight time.
“That’s baseball,” said head coach Justin Hill about UL Lafayette’s four infield singles, one of those a bunt single on a sacrifice attempt to move the runner up from first to second base. “Those are things we need to work on, getting back to cover first base. But that happens.”
Offensively, true freshman short stop Reid Bourque continued his hot streak at the plate since taking over the lead-off spot seven games ago. Bourque hit his first collegiate home run, a solo blast in the fourth inning to cut the Cajuns lead to 4-1. He ended the game 2-for-3, adding a single, and raised his batting average 13 points to .279 following the game.
“He’s hitting the ball really well for us right now,” said Hill.
Since taking over the lead-off spot in the second game at Central Arkansas, Bourque has raised his batting average 70 points.
Trailing 4-1 in the fifth inning, McNeese had a chance to get back into the game following a Jake Cochran lead-off walk and a Lachaln Mayo one out single to put runners at first and second. Bourque then walked with two outs to load the bases for Shane Selman. But Selman hit a hard liner right to the center fielder to end the threat and strand all three runners.
UL Lafayette added a run in the sixth to make it 5-1 but McNeese got it back in the bottom of the inning after Jacob Stracner scored on a Cochran single to center field to cut the gap to 5-2 before The Cajuns went to the bullpen and got the final out.
McNeese starting pitcher Adam Goree (0-2) took the loss after he allowed four runs on five hits, four of those infield singles, in 1.2 innings of work.
Three Cowboys pitched out of the bullpen and shut down the Cajun's bats.
Zach Rider threw 3.1 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits with four strike outs; Chris Campbell threw three innings of one-hit, one-run ball with five strike outs; and Gavin Sonnier threw a perfect ninth inning with a strike out.
UL Lafayette starter Austin Perrin (1-4) picked up his first win of the season after throwing 5.2 innings and allowing two runs and five hits with three walks and two strike outs.
Logan Stoelke threw the final 1.1 innings of perfect ball with three strike outs to earn his fifth save of the season.
The Cajun out-hit the Cowboys by an 8-6 margin with Gavin Bourgeois and Daniel Lahare, the 1-2 hitters in the order, each collecting two hits.
• Reid Bourque extended his hitting streak to 10 games after going 2-for-3 on the night.
• This was McNeese’s first loss in the seven games Bourque has been in the No. 1 slot in the lineup.
• The Cowboys’ bullpen threw 7.1 innings and allowed just one run and three hits with one walk and 10 strike outs.
• In the last seven games, the bullpen has not allowed a run in 18.2 of the 34.2 innings thrown.
• With 10 Ks thrown, it’s the eighth time this season the staff has fanned 10 or more in a game.
• McNeese hitters have homered in seven straight games.
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