LAKE CHARLES – McNeese designated hitter Nate Collins drove a two-out, two-strike pitch into the left-centerfield gap with the bases loaded, scoring all three runners in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Cowboys a 5-3 lead over UT Arlington while pitchers Jonathan Ellison, Hunter Reeves and Cameron Foster prevailed the rest of the way to secure the win and snapping a seven-game skid.
McNeese improves to 19-21 on the season and will host New Orleans in Southland Conference play beginning Friday to start a four-game series. UTA fell to 19-21 on the season.
Ellison (3-2) picked up the win on his start after he threw six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits. He walked five and struck out three. Reeves and Foster combined to throw three shutout innings, allowing just two hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Foster picked up his second save in the process.
Offensively, the Cowboys’ bats came alive in the fourth inning after UTA went ahead 3-0 through three.
Four straight hits led to the first two runs of the game for the Cowboys as they pulled to within a 3-2 margin. Nate Fisbeck led things off with a single to left field then Payton Harden singled to center. Peyton Johnson knocked both runs in with a double in the left-field gap. After that, Collins singled to left field, advancing Johnson to third base. The Mavs got a break when a hard liner off the bat of Reid Bourque was snagged by the pitcher and Collins was doubled up at first base.
In the fifth, Clayton Rasbeary started a rally with a one-out single while Fisbeck followed with a single to put runners on second and third. After Harden flew out for the second out of the inning and Fisbeck stole second, Johnson walked to load the bases. That brought up Collins to drilled an 0-2 pitch into the left-field gap to score all three runners and giving the Cowboys a 5-3 lead.
Reeves threw the seventh and eighth innings and allowed just a lead-off double in the eighth. Foster threw the ninth and after giving up a walk and single with one out, got the next batter to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
The Cowboys finished with nine hits in the game with all nine coming from the 2-6 batters in the lineup. Fisbeck led the way with a 3 for 4 game with two runs scored. Rasbeary went 2 for 4 with a run scored and Collins finished 2 for 4 with three runs batted in.
UTA scattered eight hits with Phillip Childs going 2 for 4 to lead the way.