Four-run 9th lifts McNeese to 5-4 win over Nicholls

Four-run 9th lifts McNeese to 5-4 win over Nicholls
(Source: McNeese)

THIBODAUX – Shane Selman's two-strike, two-out double in the top of the ninth inning capped scored two runs to give McNeese a 5-4 lead and capping a four-run frame while Aidan Anderson closed the door on Nicholls in the bottom of the inning as the Cowboys rallied for the one-run win over the Colonels on Sunday afternoon and snapping a 14-game losing streak on the Nicholls home field.

The win snapped the Cowboys three-game overall losing streak as they improved to 6-3 in Southland Conference play (9-14 overall). Nicholls fell to 4-5 in the league and 8-15 on the season.

McNeese returns to action on Tuesday to open up a four-game home stand in five days when it welcomes Louisiana Tech to Joe Miller Ballpark before hosting Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday-Saturday for a big league series.

The Cowboys put 11 hits on the board but five of those came in the ninth inning as the Cowboys posted their first win of the year when trailing after eight frames.

"An ugly win is better than a pretty loss," said head coach Justin Hill. "We finally put together some good at bats in the ninth inning."

Trailing 4-1 going into the ninth, Dustin Duhon led off the inning with a single to center field. Following a Lachlan Mayo fly out to right field, Mitchell Rogers singled through the left side to put runners at first and second.

Carson Maxwell singled in Duhon to make it a 4-2 game brefor the Colonels went to the bullpen to bring in Austin Bollinger, the third pitcher of the game for the Colonels. 

Reid Bourque greeted the new pitcher with a single to right field and Welles Cooley, who was running for Rogers, scored on the play with some head's up running when Nicholls right fielder Dane Simon's errant throw literally hit second baseman Ethan Valdez, knocking him to the ground, and Cooley crossed the plate to cut the margin to 4-3.

Julian Gonzales entered to run for Maxwell when Joe Provenzano, who had a first inning single to pull him to within one for his 200th career base hit, was robbed of that hit buy Valdez who skied to pull Provenzano's liner out of the air for the second out.

Selman followed to drove a 2-2 pitch down the left field line to score Bourque and Gonzales to put McNeese on top 5-4.

"Welles and Julian did a great job of running the bases," said Hill. "That's a great example of being ready for your moment."

Pitcher Aidan Anderson (3-4), who entered the game in relief for start Tyler Wesley with two outs in the fifth, picked up his third consecutive win out of the bullpen after he tossed 4.1 scoreless innings while allowing just one hit with three strike outs.

Wesley threw the first 4.2 innings, giving up four runs on five hits with three strike outs.

"Aidan was really good out of the pen," said Hill. "Tyler was very effective when he stayed in the zone."

Bollinger (1-3) took the loss for the Colonels after he gave up a run on a hit in one-third inning of action.

Duhon led the Cowboys at the plate with a 3-for-3 outing while Rogers posted a 2-for-4 showing, including a solo home run to lead off the fifth inning to pull McNeese to within 2-1 at the time.

The win was the first for McNeese at Nicholls since May 15, 2009.

"That's a long time between wins," said Hill who picked up his first victory in Thibodaux. "That's a tough place to play and it doesn't set up very well for how we've built our club, but out gys kept fighting and found a way.

"That's a big one."

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