LAKE CHARLES- The McNeese Cowboys took another step closer to securing their spot in the Southland Conference Tournament with a come-from-behind 8-4 win in game two of a doubleheader against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Sunday night after dropping the first game 2-0.
With the win, McNeese (29-23, 14-13) notched its third straight league series win with Sunday’s split and Friday’s win to take the series 2-1 against the Islanders.
In game one, Aidan Anderson (4-6) got the start for the Cowboys in what would be a pitcher’s duel. Anderson finished the game with 7.1 innings pitched, two runs on five hits, and was credited with the loss.
The Cowboys struggled in game one, being shut out for only the third time this year and only earned four hits in the ball game.
The Islanders (30-24, 14-16) were carried to their 2-0 victory behind a strong outing on the mound by Dustin Lacaze. Lacaze struck out nine Cowboy batters and only allowed two hits in seven innings of work.
In game two, the Cowboys' right-handed pitcher Peyton McLemore (4-3) got the start on the mound. McLemore would finish with 3.1 innings pitched, gave up three runs on six hits, and got the no-decision.
The Islanders jumped out to a 3-0 lead after scoring two in the third and one in the top of the fourth inning.
The Cowboys responded though with two runs on the bottom of the fourth and one in fifth on an RBI single by Dustin Duhon, RBI walk from Payton Harden, and RBI sacrifice fly by Carson Maxwell to tie the game after the fifth inning.
Fast forward to the eighth, the Islanders reclaimed the lead after drawing four walks to plate a run and take a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, McNeese responded in a big way. After back-to-back singles by Carson Maxwell and Julian Gonzales and a crucial drawn walk by Duhon, the Cowboys had the bases loaded with only one out for Reid Bourque. Bourque then delivered a clutch sacrifice fly to deep center field to plate the tying run, and advance Gonzales to third.
With two outs and a man on the corners, Payton Harden hit an infield single with a 1-2 count to drive in the go-ahead run. Nate Fisbeck and Clayton Rasbeary then put the nail in the coffin with a two RBI-double by Fisbeck and an RBI single by Rasbeary to put McNeese up 8-4 after the eighth.
In the top of the ninth, Cayne Ueckert took the mound to close out the game and did just that by striking out the side to secure the win.
McNeese will be back on the field Thursday afternoon against the Houston Baptist Huskies for the start of their final regular season series. The series will conclude on Saturday at 1 p.m.