AUSTIN, Texas – Texas took advantage of three McNeese errors in the third inning to score three unearned runs, then held off the Cowboys for a 5-4 win Monday night in the first meeting between the two teams since the 2002 season.
McNeese (10-18) trailed 5-0 after four innings but made a charge beginning in the fifth inning when Andrew Bryan blasted a two-run home run after Dustin Duhon led-off the inning with a double. That made it a 5-2 game.
Following Bryan’s homer, Jake Cochran walked and Mitchell Rogers hit a dribbler in the area of the pitcher for an infield single to put runners at first and second.
Carson Maxwell, who was moved to the No. 1 hole in the lineup and had two hits on the night, reached on a throwing error after attempting to move the runners up a bag with a sacrifice bunt. Cochran scored on the errant throw and cut the Longhorn lead to 5-3 but the Cowboys were unable to get the runners at second or third home despite there being no outs, a missed opportunity that would prove costly.
Meanwhile, McNeese’s bullpen of Cayne Ueckert, Grant Anderson, Chris Campbell and Aidan Anderson was rolling by allowing just two runs and five hits in five innings of work.
Starting pitcher Austin Briggs (0-1) took the loss after he gave up three runs, all unearned, in three innings.
McNeese made it a one-run game in the seventh after Maxwell hit a one-out double down the left field line, advanced to third on a balk, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Reid Bourque to make it a 5-4 game.
The Cowboys threatened in the top of the ninth when Cochran hit a one-out single but was unable to be moved around as Texas (18-10) held on for the win.
Texas went up 1-0 after Jake McKenzie led off the inning with a single, advanced to second on a groundout and went to third on a failed pickoff attempt by Briggs at second base. McKenzie then scored on the Cowboys’ second error of the game when Joe Provenzano dropped a fly ball.
A second throwing error by Briggs led to a two-run home run by Ryan Reynolds to put Texas up 3-0 and then two more runs in the fourth inning made it a 5-0 game.
The Cowboys will return home on Wednesday night when they host LSU-Alexandria to begin a four-game homestand. McNeese will host Abilene Christian in a conference series beginning Friday.
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