LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A two-run third inning due to a two-run home run by Kade Morris was one of five multiple-run innings for McNeese on Sunday afternoon as it defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 12-7 and completed a three-game, Southland Conference series sweep.
The win kept the Cowboys unbeaten at home with an 8-0 mark while improving to 8-6 overall and 3-0 in league play. McNeese will host LSU-Alexandria at 6 on Monday with Brody Strahan going on the mound.
McNeese finished with 10 hits in the game as Clayton Rasbeary (2 for 3, RBI, two runs) and Julian Gonzales (2 for 3, 2 runs) led the way with multiple hits.
The Islanders took a 1-0 lead in the first on a two-out, solo home run by Brandon Petkoff, his first of the season.
McNeese answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to go up 2-1. Payton Harden led things off by getting hit on the second pitch thrown by Islander starter Colin Purcell. Harden advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a Rasbeary rocket up the middle.
After the first out of the inning, Jake Dickerson singled to right-center to score Harden then Gabe Vasquez knocked in Rasbeary on an RBI grounder to make it a 2-1 game.
The Cowboys took advantage of a couple of Islanders’ errors to help ignite a three-run fifth inning to increase the lead to 9-2 but Corpus rallied back with a five-run sixth, powered by a two-run double by Josh Caraway then a three-run home run by Tristan Welch to cut the gap to 9-7.
Isaac Duplechain came out of the pen to relieve Hunter Reeves and got the Cowboys out of the inning with the two-run lead. Reeves (1-0) picked up the win after he relieve starter Jonathan Ellison to start the fifth. Ellison threw 4.0 innings and gave up two runs on three hits with a walk and four strike outs.
“I thought we got a good start out of Ellison and and got going well on offense early,” said head coach Justin Hill. “Being able to stretch the lead and making them play from behind was probably the biggest part of the day.”
McNeese added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh to go up 12-7, and in the top of the eighth, got a couple of great defensive plays by second baseman Nate Fisbeck who made a two very similar sliding grabs on grounders in the gap and throw outs to first.
Duplechain was teamed with relievers Hayden Shaddox and Zach Diaz to throw the final 3.2 innings, allowing no runs and just two hits.
• McNeese DH Tré Obregon and AMCC 1B Luke Marbach missed the finale due to both being put into concussion protocol. The two collided at first base in the sixth inning when a throwing error by the Islander third baseman brought Marbach off the bag and into Obregon.
• This is McNeese’s first series sweep over the Islanders since the 2010 season.
• The 8-0 start at home is the best since the league championship season in 20-17 when the Cowboys started out 14-0. That team went on to finish 22-5 at The Jeaux for the season.
• Three Cowboys hit over .400 on the weekend – Payton Harden (.462), Julian Gonzales (.429) and Nate Fisbeck (.417).