CORPUS CHRISTI – Jake Cochran and Carson Maxwell each drove in three runs, all three of Cochran’s coming on a sixth-inning bases loaded clearing double, and Maxwell’s final two RBIs scoring McNeese’s sixth and eighth runs of the game as the Cowboys rallied from a 6-0 deficit to grab an 8-6 late lead, but couldn’t hold on as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi got a one-out walk-off single by second baseman Jackson Owens to give the Islanders a 9-8 win and the weekend Southland Conference series over the Cowboys on Saturday.
McNeese (21-26, 14-12 SLC) will try to avoid being swept for the second straight weekend when the two teams play the final game of the series on Sunday beginning at 1. And with Tyler Wesley getting the start on Saturday along with Bryan King tossing 1 2/3 innings of relief work, Cayne Ueckert will get the start on the mound on Sunday.
Corpus Christi improved to 24-25 overall and 8-15 in league play.
The Islanders jumped out to a 6-0 lead through five innings until the Cowboys rallied in the sixth for five runs to close the gap to 6-5.
Jacob Stracner got things going for the Cowboys with one out in the sixth with a triple to the left-center gap. He scored on a Maxwell ground out to make it a 6-1 game.
Reid Bourque, Joe Provenzano and Shane Selman drew three straight walks to load the bases and Dustin Duhon made it four-in-a-row with his RBI walk to score Bourque and close the gap to 6-2.
Cochran cleared the bases with a three-run double to center field to put the Cowboys to within one at 6-5 before the Islanders were able to get out of the frame.
Maxwell came through again in the seventh when his one-out single to right field scored Brett Whelton who led off the inning with a double to center field, and tying the game at 6-6.
McNeese took an 8-6 lead in the eighth after a Mitchell Rogers squeeze play scored Duhon from third to make it a 7-6 game, then Maxwell knocked in his third run of the game on a two-out single down the right field line that scored Cochran to put the Cowboys up 8-6.
Zach Rider, who entered the game with a runner on and no outs in the sixth, held the Islanders hitless until one out in the eighth inning when he walked a batter and allowed a single to right field, all with one out. A throwing error on the single allowed runners to advance to second and third then a ground out for the second out of the inning scored a run to close the McNeese lead to 8-7.
Aidan Anderson was brought in to attempt to shut the door on the Islanders, but instead gave up a RBI double to the first batter he faced as the game was tied at 8-8. After an intentional walk and a single loaded the bases, Anderson got the next batter to fly out to right field to end the inning.
Provenzano led the ninth off with a single to right field but the next three batters all popped out in the infield, two at second base and the third out to the catcher.
Anderson struck out the first batter he faced in the ninth but then left fielder Itchy Burts laid down a bunt single and moved all the way around to third on a throwing error by Whelton. Owens ended the game with a single to centerfield to score Burts and give the Islanders their 9-8 win.
Anderson (5-5) took the loss while AMCC’s Chris Cooper (1-1) picked up the win.
In addition to knocking in three runs, Cochran also picked up three hits in the game while Maxwell added two base hits.
The Islanders put 14 hits on the board with five players finishing with two or more for the game. Third baseman Enrique Sanchez, Jr. led the team with three hits.
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