LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - McNeese starting pitcher Rhett Deaton continued where he left off after pitching a complete-game win at Abilene Christian last Saturday, when on Friday night, he threw seven shutout innings to help carry the Cowboys to a big, 2-0 win over the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks in the first game of a three-game Southland Conference baseball series.
Deaton (6-3), who combined with Peyton McLemore to toss the four-hit shutout, was masterful on the mound once again. The junior threw seven innings, gave up only four hits, all singles, struck out four batters, walked none, and faced 26 batters, just five over the minimum.
McLemore recorded his first save of the season by blowing through all six Lumberjacks batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings, striking out two of those.
The win kept the Cowboys (24-22, 10-12 SLC) in contention for the postseason league tournament as they gain a game on SFA (21-25, 13-9) in the league standings.
McNeese needed just five hits and two runs to capture the win, both of those runs coming in the third inning.
The Cowboys capitalized on a one out, dropped fly ball by SFA center fielder Nick Daley following a Jacob Stracner single. With runners on first and third, Payton Harden singled in Stracner to put McNeese on the board with a 1-0 lead. That was followed by a Nate Fisbeck RBI to make it a 2-0 lead.
Stephen F. Austin threatened a couple times in the game, once in the second inning when it had the bases loaded with one out before Deaton fanned back-to-back batters to get out of the inning. Then in the fifth inning, the Lumberjacks had a runner on third with one out when a bunt attempt to plate the base runner was fielded nicely by Stracner at first base who threw the runner out at home.
The Cowboys will be back on the field for game two of the series tomorrow night at Joe Miller Ballpark and then wrap up the series with the finale on Sunday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. tomorrow and 1 p.m. Sunday.
3rd | The Cowboys scored the first runs of the game. After a single down the left field line by Jacob Stracner and a dropped fly ball on a hard hit by Reid Bourque the Cowboys had two men on with only one out for Payton Harden. Harden then hit an RBI infield single to plate the Cowboys first run and then a sacrifice bunt by Nate Fisbeck gave the Pokes a 2-0 lead after the third.
The Cowboys were led offensively by Brett Whelton, going 2-for-3 with a double and a single.
Payton Harden and Nate Fisbeck each were credited with an RBI in the game.
Junior right-handed pitcher Rhett Deaton would get the start for the Cowboys in Friday's game. Deaton would finish with 7.0 IP, no runs on four hits, surrender no walks, strikeout four, and get his sixth win on the season.
Peyton McLemore would relieve Deaton to start the eighth inning. McLemore would finish the game for the Cowboys, ending with 2.0 IP, zero runs given up, no hits, two strikeouts, and earn his first save of the year.
The Cowboys continue their series against SFA tomorrow, first pitch at 6 p.m. and end it on Sunday at 1 p.m.