The junior catcher tied a single-game school record with three doubles in game one of a doubleheader, added a fourth double on the day in game two, and completed the DH hitting 6-for-8 in helping lead McNeese to a doubleheader sweep over UNO by scores of 9-6 and 9-7, as well as capturing the Southland Conference series sweep.
The victories improve the Cowboys to 12-6 in league play, 16-20 overall, while UNO falls to 17-20 and 7-11. McNeese also swept the Privateers for the fifth straight season and has now won 16 consecutive over the in-state foes.
McNeese combined to put 18 runs and 23 hits on the day.
In addition to Duhon’s 6-for-8 outing in the twinbill, he also knocked in three runs and scored twice. Third baseman Carson Maxwell posted a 4-for-8 day with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored.
Starting pitcher Bryan King (3-2) picked up the win in game one after he threw seven solid innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. Both runs didn’t score until the seventh inning and he had only given up four hits through the first six innings.
Zach Rider came on board with one out in the eighth inning and worked out of a two-on, one-out jam after UNO had closed the gap to 8-6. Rider sat down all five batters he faced in the 1.2 innings to pick up his third save of the season.
Second baseman Joe Provenzano moved into fifth on the school’s career record hits list with his second single in the game to give him 212 in his career and moving him past Seth Granger.
In the second game, UNO jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after the first inning but the Cowboys scored seven in the second to go up 7-3 and never looked back. The seven spot tied as the most runs scored in an inning on the season as six of the seven runs were all ruled unearned.
Duhon started the rally with a lead off single followed by a double from Mitchell Rogers. Back-to-back errors by UNO helped plate three runs, although Welles Cooley was credited with a sacrifice fly and RBI after the UNO right fielder misplayed his fly ball with a runner on third as the ball hit him in the shoulder. Cooley reached base and eventually scored on a Maxwell single to put the Cowboys up 4-3. A two-run triple by Shane Selman added to the lead then a sac fly by Provenzano plated Selman to make it a 7-3 lead.
McNeese added a run in the fifth and eighth innings, keeping some distance in the scores while UNO attempted to chip away.
Duhon finished the game 3-for-4 with a run scored while Maxwell (3-for-5) and Selman (2-for-5) added multi-hit games.
Cayne Ueckert (3-2) picked up the win in relief effort after he threw 3.2 innings and gave up three runs on three hits with five strike outs. Starter Tyler Wesley allowed four runs on five hits in three innings.
Aidan Anderson picked up his fourth save after he blazed through the final 2.1 innings without giving up a hit or run and striking out three.
The Cowboys will return home on Tuesday when they host Houston Baptist in a non-conference game beginning at 6 p.m.
Game 1 – McNeese 9, UNO 6
A pitcher’s duel turned into a scoring machine as the two teams combined to plate 14 runs in the final three-and-a-half innings.
McNeese got a great outing out of starting pitcher Bryan King who threw seven innings and allowed just two runs. But those didn’t come until the seventh inning where the Privateers got a solo home run by Howard and a couple of singles to plate the runs.
Before that inning, King had given up just four hits in the previous six innings.
McNeese took a 1-0 lead on a Mitchell Rogers sacrifice fly that scored Joe Provenzano who led off the inning with a single then advanced to third on a Dustin Duhon double, his first of a school record-tying three in the game.
The lead increased to 3-0 after a two-run, sixth inning double by Rogers that scored Shane Selman and Provenzano who led off the inning with back-to-back singles.
The Cowboys appeared to have put the game away in the seventh inning with four runs and a bases loaded, base clearing double by Duhon, made it a 7-0 lead.
Julian Gonzales got the rally going
But the Privateers answered with two in the bottom of the inning, and after the Cowboys got a run back in the eighth with a Carson Maxwell solo home run to make it 8-2, UNO took advantage of walks and hit batters to claw back into the game.
McNeese reliever Chris Campbell hit the first three batters he faced in the eighth inning to load the bases. That brought in Austin Briggs from the bullpen and he walked the next two batters, scoring two. An error by Provenzano at second base, and a run scoring grounder, plated two more runs as UNO closed the gap to 8-6 before Zach Rider, the third pitcher for the Cowboys in the inning, got the final two batters out to end the UNO rally.
Rider sat down the side in order in the ninth to collect his third save of the season after McNeese added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Duhon led off with a double then scored off a Jacob Stracner sac fly to center field.
King improved his record to 3-2 on the season after he went seven innings and gave up two runs on seven hits with three walks and five strike outs. It was his second quality start in his last three outings.
Rider struck out three of the five batters he faced to and threw 1.2 scoreless and hitless innings to pick up save number three.
All but one batter in the lineup picked up a hit but all nine reached base.
Duhon ended the game 3-for-=4 with three RBIs and a run scored to go along with his three doubles. Rogers also drove in three runs while Provenzano (2-for-4) and Stracner (2-for-4) posted multi-hit games.
Game 2 – McNeese 9, UNO 7
The Cowboys completed the three-game sweep by holding on to upend UNO 9-7.
The Privateers jumped on top early with three first inning runs, all with two outs, and taking advantage of a couple of McNeese errors.
Bratton put the Privateers up 2-0 with a two-run home run. Veillon then reached on a fielding error by Maxwell at third base and eventually scored on a Morrill infield single to make it 3-0.
McNeese took control with a seven run, second inning, and like UNO in the first, the Cowboys took advantage of a couple of Privateer errors to post its highest-scoring inning of the season (matching it with a 7-run fifth inning at ULL this past Tuesday).
Duhon started things off with a single to centerfield and moved around to third after Rogers doubled down the left field line. A fielding error by the UNO third baseman scored Duhon to make it 3-1 then a sacrifice fly by Cooley, then an error by the Privateer right fielder whose misplayed action on the fly ball allowed Cooley to reach, allowed two runs to score and tie the game at 3-3.
Maxwell scored Cooley on his single to right-center field and giving McNeese a 4-3 lead, then Selman blasted a triple to deep right-center field to score two runs and making it a 6-3 game. Peyton Johnson, who entered the game for Rogers, singled in Selman to make it 7-3 before UNO got the final out.
UNO’s Howard popped his first of two home runs in the game with a solo shot to lead off the fourth to cut the McNeese lead to 7-4 but the Cowboys answered in the top of the fifth when Stracner led off with a walk and later scored on a Julian Gonzales single after Stracner reached third following a stolen base and advancement on a throwing error.
UNO scored an unearned run in the sixth to make it 8-5, then Howard came up big again, this time with a two-run home run in the seventh inning to make it an 8-7 game.
Anderson entered following a walk with two outs, and got the next batter to strike out. He then sat down the side in both the eighth and ninth innings to secure the win as the Cowboys added their ninth run of the game on a Maxwell RBI single to plate Gonzales.
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