HUNTSVILLE, Texas – McNeese got off to a slow start offensively in both Southland Conference baseball games against Sam Houston on Sunday and the result was a sweep at the hands of the Bearkats for the second straight day as the Cowboys dropped all four games on the weekend.
The 5-4, 6-4 losses dropped the Cowboys to 18-18 overall and 12-11 in league play while Sam Houston improved to 19-16 and 15-9 in the conference.
The Bearkats outscored the Cowboys 8-0 through the first four innings of the two games combined, forcing McNeese to play catchup.
Game 1 Recap:
Sam Houston held off a fierce McNeese rally in the late innings to pull out a 5-4 win.
Trailing 5-0 after four innings, McNeese got on the board in the fifth off Nate Fisbeck’s sac fly to score Schuyler Thibodaux and cut the margin to 5-1.
The momentum shifted more in the sixth after Julian Gonzales led off with a solo homer then Kade Morris popped a two-run home run to cut the margin to 5-4 with no outs. Peyton Harden kept the rally going with a one-out single but the run came to an end with an inning-ending double play.
The Cowboys threatened in the seventh when Fisbeck and Jake Dickerson hit back-to-back singles to start off the frame but the Cowboys couldn’t get that tying run on third base as Dickerson was thrown out attempting to steal the bag to end the game.
McNeese starter Jonathan Ellison (2-2) took the loss on the mound after he gave up five runs in four innings, allowed eight hits, walked three and struck out three. Hayden Shaddox and Kevin Roliard pitched near-perfect fifth and sixth innings to give the Cowboys an opportunity at the win by keeping the Bearkat offense from adding more runs.
The first four batters in the McNeese lineup combined to go 8 for 14 at the plate as the Cowboys put 12 hits on the board in the 7-inning game.
Game 2 Recap:
Once again the Bearkats jumped on top early with a run in the third and two in the fourth to take a quick 3-0 lead.
Fisbeck got things going in the sixth for the Cowboys with a lead-off double then later came around to score on a Gonzales one-out double to cut the margin to 3-1 but he would be left stranded on second and Reid Bourque on third when Sam Houston starter Kyle Backhus got the next two Cowboy batters to strike out.
The Bearkats added two runs in the bottom of the inning after Clayton Chadwick led things off with a double then scored when the next batter up, Easton Loyd, hit an infield single, increasing the lead to 4-1. After a pitching change for the Cowboys saw Isaac Duplechain relieve starter Christian Vega, Duplechain fanned his first batter before giving up a double to Rogers to put runners at second and third.
McNeese would intentionally walk Colton Cowser to load the bases then a wild pitch would score Lyod to give Sam Houston a 5-1 lead.
The Cowboys answered in the seventh inning with two runs, one each off RBI doubles by Clayton Rasbeary and Dickerson, to cut the deficit to 5-3. The Bearkats got a run back in the bottom of the seventh to go up 6-3, then in the ninth and with a run in to cut the margin to 6-4, the game ended on a double play with the bases loaded.
Vega (1-4) suffered the loss after he allowed five runs on 11 hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Fisbeck and Dickerson led the Cowboys at the plate with two hits each.
McNeese will visit ULL at 6:30 on Wednesday before returning home for a three-game non-conference weekend series against UT Arlington.