HAMMOND- The McNeese Cowboys out hit the Lions and rallied back from an early 3-0 hole, but fell short in a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Southeastern Louisiana on an unearned winning run in the eighth inning Wednesday night in Hammond.
The Lions (25-20, 14-7 SLC) scored three runs in the first on one hit, two walks, and two hit-by-pitches to take an early 3-0 lead after the first inning.
McNeese (23-22, 9-12 SLC) responded in the third and fourth inning, scoring one run in each off on an RBI groundout by Nate Fisbeck and an RBI double by Jacob Stracner, to cut the lead to 3-2 after the fourth inning.
Zach Rider (0-0) got the start for the Cowboys on Wednesday night for his first start of the year. Rider would finish the night with only 1.0 inning pitched, gave up three runs on one hit, two walks, two hit batters, struck out one and got the no decision.
After Rider’s one inning, the Cowboys bullpen would be masterful, throwing six combined arms for the final eight innings. The McNeese bullpen combined for only three hits, one run allowed, and seven strikeouts.
The only run the bullpen gave up was unearned, due to a costly fielding error by Reid Bourque in the eighth inning.
In the top of the ninth, Carson Maxwell lead the inning off with a double off the right center wall, giving the Cowboys the tying run on second base and no outs. Unfortunately, the next three Cowboy batter would strikeout swinging to end the game and strand Maxwell on second.
Aidan Anderson was credited with the loss, his fifth credited loss on the season.
McNeese will be back on the field Friday night in a weekend series against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at 6 p.m. in Joe Miller Ballpark.