LAKE CHARLES – McNeese gave its five seniors a memorable sendoff in the final Sunday game of the season played at Joe Miller Ballpark as the Cowboys completed their first home sweep of the season after downing Prairie View 12-0 in a run-rule seven-inning game.
The win was the third straight for the Cowboys as they improve to 25-27 on the season. They'll close out their home slate on Tuesday night against Louisiana-Monroe then the regular season next Thursday through Saturday at Lamar.
McNeese learned earlier on Sunday that it has qualified for the Southland Conference postseason tournament after New Orleans defeated Nicholls to hand the Colonels their 16th conference loss of the season. At 15-12 in league play, the Cowboys cannot be caught by anyone below eighth place, making the Cowboys a part of the eight-team field.
Four Cowboys pitchers combined to throw a one-hit shutout. Starter Peyton McLemore (3-1) picked up the win in a predetermined three-inning outing as he allowed four walks and struck out three.
Senior Austin Briggs followed with two hitless and shutout innings with two strike outs. The only Panther hit of the game came with two outs in the sixth inning when third baseman Ezekiel Bear popped one up the middle against Zach Rider.
Aidan Anderson threw the seventh inning to close out the game.
On offense, the Cowboys pounded out 12 hits in 25 at bats to hit .480 for the game.
Joe Provenzano went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run, his fifth of the season, with three RBIs, and is now just two hits from tying the school's career hit's record.
Carson Maxwell added a 2-for-3 day with two runs scored while Jake Cochranfinished 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored.
The big hit of the day came off the bat of Jacob Stracner who popped a two-out grand slam to cap a six-run, sixth-inning and giving the Cowboys their 12-0 lead. It was the first grand slam of his career and the second for the Cowboys on the season. Dustin Duhon hit one against Central Arkansas in the second game of a double header on March 10.
McNeese opened the game with three runs in the first inning behind Provenzano's two-run, one out blast, then a RBI single by Cochran.
A two-out RBI single by Provenzano made it 4-0 in the fourth, then after Maxwell and Duhon followed with back-to-back walks, Cochran drove them both in with a single up the middle to make it 6-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, Reid Bourque belted his second home run of the season with a lead off solo blast over the right field wall to make it a 7-0 lead. The Cowboys would later load the bases after a Maxwell single and back-to-back walks to Cochran and Mitchell Rogers.
A third straight walk to Brett Whelton scored Duhon to put the Cowboy up 8-0 then Stracner followed with his grand slam to clear the bases and make it a 12-0 lead.
• The game, originally scheduled to began at 1 p.m., started an our late due to rain then had a half-hour rain delay after the third inning due to lightning in the area.
• Five seniors were recognized in the pregame – Joe Provenzano, Mitchell Rogers, Austin Briggs, Tyler Wesley and Andrew Bryan.
• Bryan has not played the last several weeks due to an injury but he was penciled in as the starting DH and had his name called out as he walked to the plate with his place in the order up. But he was then pinch-hit for as he's not been cleared by the doctors to play. It was a nice gesture by Coach Justin Hill to let him hear his name one last time at The Jeaux.
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