HOUSTON – McNeese built a 7-0 lead through the first three innings, scored five more runs in the late innings, and got a great performance out of the bullpen as the Cowboys beat HBU 12-6 in the first game of a Southland Conference four-game series here Friday.
The win was the fifth straight for the Cowboys and first away from home as they improve to 10-6 overall and 4-0 in league play. HBU dropped to 2-14 and 0-5.
The series will continue with an early start on Saturday with an 11 a.m. first pitch for the double-header. Games are streamed live via HBU Athletics.
Isaac Duplechain (3-1) picked up his third win of the season out of the bullpen after he relieved starter Christian Vega with two out in the third inning.
Duplechain did not give up a run in three innings of work, four hits and struck out three. Hunter Reeves and Sean-Michael Brady combined to throw the final 3.1 innings with no earned runs allowed and six strikeouts, five of those thrown by Reeves.
Offensively, Clayton Rasbeary had a 3-for-5 day at the plate with a triple and four runs batted in. His bases-loaded triple came in the top of the eighth inning with two outs as the pop down the right field line emptied the bases and increased the Cowboys’ lead to 12-5.
Jake Dickerson added a 2-for-4 game with three RBIs and a run scored while Reid Bourque (2 for 3, RBI, three runs scored) and Ben David (2 for 4, two runs scored) also collected multi-hit games.
Things got going early for the Cowboys when Payton Harden was hit-by-a-pitch to start off the game. A two-out single by Dickerson was followed by another HBP, this time to Julian Gonzales to load the bases. Three straight walks by HBU starting pitcher Tyler Zarella plated three runs for the Cowboys before a pitching change got the Huskies out of the inning with McNeese leading 3-0.
McNeese added four runs in the third following a Rasbeary RBI single, two RBI walks by Nate Fisbeck and Dickerson, and a HBP RBI by Harden.
Vega cruised through the first two innings, throwing perfect ball, but in the bottom of the third, the Huskies got to the Cowboys’ starter with five consecutive singles to start the inning before Duplechain entered in relief to shut down the rally as HBU closed the gap to 7-5.
Both teams were held scoreless the next three innings until the seventh when Bourque and David led off with back-to-back singles. Rasbeary drew a one-out walk to load the bases and Dickerson drove in two runs with a two-out single to center field to up the lead to 9-5.
The Huskies added a lone run in the bottom of the ninth that was set up by a McNeese throwing error.
HBU starter Zarella (0-3) took the loss after giving up three runs in 2/3 of an inning pitched.