LAFAYETTE – An inning of offensive brilliance couldn’t hold up for McNeese as the Cowboys squandered a three-run, sixth inning lead to fall 12-10 to Louisiana-Lafayette in a midweek baseball contest on Tuesday night in front of 4,761 fans.
A 4-6-3 triple-play turned by UL Lafayette in the top of the seventh inning with runners on first and second for the Cowboys, put a stamp on the type of game it was for McNeese.
“That one was one me,” said head coach Justin Hill. “It was a 3-2 pitch and we had the safety steal on. That was probably the only place the ball could be hit that would turn the triple play.”
The loss dropped the Cowboys to 13-20 on the season while UL Lafayette improved to 16-17 in addition to sweeping the season series from McNeese.
McNeese will return to action on Friday when it opens up a three-game Southland Conference series at New Orleans.
Trailing 7-2 after four innings with a majority of the Cajun runs being sparked by a couple of wild pitches, errors and stolen bases, McNeese’s bats came alive in a seven-run, fifth inning that put the Cowboys up 9-7.
Carson Maxwell, who finished the game 2-for-4 in the lead-off role, started things off with a single then Reid Bourque walked and Shane Selman hit a RBI single to cut the gap to 7-3.
Joe Provenzano doubled in two runs to make it a 7-5 game and a Dustin Duhon RBI single cut the score to 7-6. Andrew Bryan hit a double to set up runners on second and third for Jake Cochran who sailed a 3-2 pitch well over the right field wall to put McNeese up 9-7.
“I was really proud to see our offense come together,” said Hill. “Joe got three hits and Dustin with five. Cochran had the big hit there in the inning to put us on top.”
The lead didn’t last long as UL Lafayette came back with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to go back up 12-9.
“At that point it was two different ball games,” said Hill of the way the game shifted after the Cowboys’ fifth inning.
McNeese added a run in the eighth then had the go-ahead run at the plate in the ninth but was unable to get any runs across.
Austin Briggs, the fourth pitcher to take the mound for the Cowboys, took the loss after he was charged with giving up five runs on four hits in 1.1 innings. Cayne Ueckert started the game and gave up five runs, four earned, on three hits in two innings of action.
Duhon led the Cowboys with a career-high five hits in five plate appearances as McNeese out-hit the Cajuns by a 15-9 margin. Provenzano posted a three-hit game while Maxwell and Cochran had two hits each.
UL Lafayette reliever Brett Williams picked up the win even though he gave up six runs on five hits in two innings.
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