LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The McNeese Cowboys took care of business winning their season opener for the second straight year, beating Mississippi Valley State 9-0 behind a 12 strikeout no hit outing by Will Dion at Joe Miller Ballpark Friday night.
Dion (1-0) made his first collegiate start and was masterful on the mound, throwing six hitless innings and only allowing one baserunner due to a hit-by-pitch. In the 18 batters he faced, he struck out 12 of them including two innings where he struck out the side.
With the win, the Cowboys (1-0, 0-0 SLC) notched their first win of the 2020 season, nab their first shutout victory on opening day since 1972, and give head coach Justin Hill his 191st win to give him sole possession of being the second most winningest coach in McNeese Baseball history behind only Tony Robichaux who has 263.
McNeese collected 10 hits in the game, three of which were extra base hits, and were led offensively by senior Nate Fisbeck, who went 2-for-4 from the plate including a huge three run home run in the second and an RBI double in the seventh to finish with four RBI in the night.
McNeese will go for its second win of the season with a double header on Saturday beginning at 2.
Sophomore Brett Payne will get the start in game of the double header and redshirt-senior Kale Breaux will get the start in game two.
1st | After Dion struck out the side in the top half, in the bottom of the inning Nate Fisbeck reached base by drawing the walk, stole second, and then was driven home by Jake Dickerson’s RBI double to give the Cowboys the early lead after the first inning.
2nd | In the second, the Delta Devils were held scoreless. In the bottom of the inning, Brett Whelton reached base on a walk to start the inning, followed by a single by Payton Harden through the left side of the infield. Two batters later, Clayton Rasbeary delivered on a two out double to bring in Whelton from second base. Then Fisbeck hit a three-run home run to left center field giving the Cowboys a 5-0 lead after the second.
5th | Dion struck out the side in the top half of the inning, for the second time. In the bottom of the inning, Jordan Yeatts lead the inning off by being hit-by-pitch, followed by a single down the right field line by Whelton. With two men on base, Harden hit an RBI sacrifice fly to right field to bring home Yeatts from third and give the Cowboys the 6-0 lead. Next batter Peyton Johnson reached base after an error by the first baseman. Bourque then drew a four pitch walk to load the bases for Rasbeary, who then hit a RBI sac fly and reached base due to an error by the center fielder giving McNeese the 7-0 led after five.
7th | Cowboys kept the Delta Devils scoreless in the top of the inning. Then in the bottom, Bourque hit a single up the middle into center field and then advanced to second on a stolen base. Two batters later, Fisbeck hit an RBI double past the third baseman down the line to plate another run for the Cowboys. After reaching third on a wild pitch, Fisbeck was then brought home by an RBI single by Julian Gonzales to bring the score to the final 9-0.
The Cowboys were led offensively by Nate Fisbeck, going 2-for-4 with one double, a home run, a stolen base, and four RBI’s.
Dickerson also had a good night from the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and two drawn walks.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Will Dion got the start for the Cowboys in Friday's game. Dion would finish with 6.0 IP, didn’t surrender a hit, walk, or run, and struck out 12 batters in route to his first win of the season and his first as a starter.
Freshman Sean-Michael Brady got his first collegiate appearance relieving Dion to start the seventh inning. Brady finished the game for the Cowboys, going 3.0 IP, zero runs given up, two hits, four strikeouts, and two walks.
The Cowboys continue their series against the Delta Devils with a double header on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. at Joe Miller Ballpark.