LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - McNeese baseball showed off its high-powered offense again Sunday afternoon, but came up just short against the Incarnate Word Cardinals, falling 8-6 in the finale of a three-game Southland Conference series at Joe Miller Ballpark.
Starting pitcher Cayne Ueckert (1-1) had a good outing for the Cowboys, going 4.1 innings and only allowing two earned runs on six hits, but unfortunately picked up his first loss on the season.
UIW (15-9, 5-4 SLC) scored at least one run in four of the first six innings, including a four-run sixth to take a 7-1 lead over the Cowboys.
McNeese (13-11, 2-4 SLC) would score its first run in the third inning and then would score three in the sixth to respond to UIW’s big top half of the inning.
In the sixth, five of the first six batters to come to the plate would reach base and three of those five would score.
The Cowboys then tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the seventh off a two-run home run by senior Jacob Stracner, his first of the year, in response to UIW scoring one in the top half.
After the Cardinals scored their final run with one out in the seventh, Brad Kincaid would enter the game and keep UIW off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game. Kincaid would not allow a run and only allow one hit to give the Cowboys a shot at the win.
The Cowboys had a fantastic day offensively with 13 hits, but their comeback effort just wouldn’t come to fruition due to lack of scoring in the late innings.
The Cowboys will now hit the road for a nine-game trip beginning Tuesday in Baton Rouge with the LSU Tigers in Alex Box Stadium at 6:30 p.m.
1st | The Cardinals would score first in the top of the inning after two walks and an RBI groundout to take a 1-0 lead.
3rd | UIW would extend their lead after a lead-off home run to make it 2-0. In the bottom half of the inning, Reid Bourque would lead the inning off with a single, followed by a screaming double off the right field wall by Nate Fisbeck to put runners on second and third with no outs. Clayton Rasbeary would be the next batter and he would deliver an RBI-single into right field to plate the Cowboys first run of the ballgame and cut the lead to 2-1 after three.
5th | In the top half, the Cardinals would get one run to push the lead back up to 3-1.
6th | The Cardinals would score four runs on three hits and extend their lead to 7-1. In the bottom half of the inning, the Cowboys would respond with __ runs of their own. Jake Dickerson would lead off with a single, followed by a base-on-balls by Carson Maxwell, then a single by Jacob Stracner. Now with the bases loaded, Brett Whelton would deliver a clutch two RBI-single up the middle with one out. Next batter, Reid Bourque, would hit the ball in the same spot as Whelton to score Stracner from third and bring the score to 7-4 after the sixth.
7th | In the top half, UIW would score one run to push the lead up to 8-4. The Cowboys would respond once again, this time with a two-run no-doubt home run over the left field wall by Jacob Stracner, his first of the year, to close the Cardinals lead to 8-6 after the seventh.
The Cowboys were led offensively by Senior Jacob Stracner Sunday afternoon. Stracner finished 2-for-4 from the plate with one single, two runs, two RBI's, and a home run.
Four other Cowboys would join Stracner with a multi-hit game, them being Nate Fisbeck (2-for-5), Carson Maxwell (2-for-4), Dustin Duhon (2-for-4), and Reid Bourque (2-for-4).
Senior right-handed pitcher Cayne Ueckert would get the start in Sunday afternoon's game, going 4.1 innings, giving up three runs, only two earned runs on six hits, and strikeout five batters.
Senior Bryan King would take over in the fifth with two men on base and one out and get the Cowboys out of the inning. King would finish with 1.0 inning, two hits, no runs, and one strikeout.
Freshman Will Dion would relieve King in the sixth with one out and two runners on base. Dion would finish with 0.2 innings pitched and give up two runs on two hits.
Junior Daniel Hecker and Brad Kincaid would combine to pitch the seventh inning. Kincaid would go on to throw the remaining 2.2 innings, give up only one hit, no runs, and strikeout three batters.
The Cowboys will be on the road on Tuesday to face the LSU Tigers at Alex Box Stadium at 6:30 p.m. to kick off a nine-game road trip. After LSU the Cowboys will travel to Huntsville, TX to take on Sam Houston State in a three-game SLC weekend series.