LAKE CHARLES – McNeese opened up doubleheader Saturday with an 8-3 win over New Orleans before UNO took the nightcap 8-4 as the two teams split the Southland Conference DH.
McNeese (21-22, 14-12) leads the series 2-1 over the Privateers (24-19, 19-12) and will go for the series win in Sunday’s finale beginning at 1 p.m.
Game 1 Recap
Will Dion improved his record to 5-4 on the season after he held the UNO bats in check for most of the game to lead the Cowboys to the 8-3 win.
Leading 2-1 through five innings in the 7-inning contest, a six-run sixth opened the game up for the Cowboys as they picked up their second win in as many games against the Privateers.
Jake Dickerson, who returned to the lineup after getting injured last weekend in a collision for a fly ball, got things going with a one-out single and advanced to second when Peyton Johnson followed with a single to right field.
Carson Carpenter entered to pinch-run for Johnson and Nate Collins pinch-hit for Julian Gonzales, who drew a walk to load the bases. Reid Bourque then reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Carpenter while a second run scored on a throwing error to make it 4-1.
With runners on second and third, Schuyler Thibodaux laid down a bunt on a squeeze play that scored Cooper Hext, who was in running for Collins. Thibodaux reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners on first and second. Rasbeary gave the Cowboys some insurance with his seventh homer of the season to make it an 8-1 lead.
UNO loaded the bases in the top of the seventh before Dion was relieved by Kevin Roliard who gave up a couple of runs in return for outs, then closed the game out with a fly ball to center field.
Rasbeary finished the game 2 for 3 at the plate with three RBI and two runs scored. Dickerson added a 2 for 3 game with an RBI and run scored as the Cowboys finished with seven hits in the game.
UNO starting pitcher Chris Turpin took the loss and dropped his record to 7-2 on the season after giving up eight runs, four earned, on seven hits.
Dion allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings of work.
Game 2 Recap:
McNeese scored two runs in the first inning but UNO answered with single runs in the second and sixth innings with three runs in the fifth to help pace it to an 8-4 win.
Three straight one-out singles for the Cowboys in the bottom of the first inning by Fisbeck, Rasbeary and Obregon put the Cowboys on top 2-0 but UNO capitalized on nine walks by three McNeese pitchers in the first six innings that helped propel it to a 5-2 lead.
With McNeese leading 2-1 going to the fifth, the Privateers got an RBI single by Pearce Howard to tie the game 2-2, then a two-run double by Luther Woullard gave his team a 4-2 lead. UNO added another run in the sixth to go up 5-2 but McNeese got two runs back in the bottom of the inning off a two-run, bases-loaded single by Harden to close the gap to 5-4.
The Privateers added another run in the seventh and two more in the ninth to build an 8-4 lead. McNeese starter Jonathan Ellison (3-3) took the loss after he allowed four runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings. Four Cowboy pitchers combined to give 14 free passes to the Privateers – 13 walks and a hit batter.
Brandon Mitchell (4-1) notched the win after throwing 5.2 innings while Caleb Seroski earned his eighth save of the season after throwing the final three innings in perfect fashion, striking out seven of the nine batters he faced.
Harden had the hot stick at the plate in the game, going 3 for 5 with two RBIs. Fisbeck added a 2 for 5 game with a run scored.