Cowboys scores 10 unanswered to earn Senior Day victory over NSU
LAKE CHARLES - The final home game of the season at ‘The Jeaux’ lived up to its billing as the McNeese Cowboys (27-21, 12-9 SLC) scored 10 unanswered to take down Northwestern State (23-24, 11-10 SLC) 10-4 on senior day, Sunday at Joe Miller Ballpark.
The win puts McNeese in a two-way tie atop the SLC with Southeastern, whom McNeese swept at home two weeks ago.
“Zane Zepphuar settled the game down, there wasn’t a ton of stress when he was out there and he just allowed us to relax and we we’re able to get things going hitting a few balls out of the ballpark,” said head coach Justin Hill.
McNeese’s 10 runs came on 12 hits, led by a 2-for-3, two-HR, four-RBI performance by Josh Leslie, a 2-for-5, two-RBI day by both Braden Duhon and Reid Bourque, and a 2-3 performance with a HR for Cooper Hext. Four other Cowboys notched one hit apiece.
Leslie (.500), Bourque (.462), and Duhon (.400) each hit over .400 for the series.
Down 4-0, McNeese would hit four home runs in three consecutive innings and would not look back behind the arm of Zane Zeppuhar.
In relief, Zane Zeppuhar (1-0) earned the win as he spun a career-high 5.2 innings keeping McNeese afloat after an early deficit. The lefty senior struck out a career-high six batters and allowed just one hit while allowing zero runs. Daniel Hecker pitched the final 2.1 innings holding the Demons to just two hits while punching out three.
“I just had to get out there and execute pitches and let my stuff work for me. I thought I executed well hitting different spots and locations, I let the great defense behind me take it from there,” said Zane Zeppuhar.
NSU took a first-inning lead for the third straight game with an RBI double and a three-run home run.
Cooper Hext’s solo home run in the bottom of the third was the first of four McNeese home runs over the next three innings. Josh Leslie hit a two-run home run in both the fourth and the fifth inning, with a solo shot by Reid Bourque wedged in between which tied the game at four.
Leslie’s second homer put McNeese up 7-4 after five.
McNeese cashed in with two more in the sixth after Braden Duhon’s bases-loaded RBI single and an RBI fielder’s choice by Reid Bourque.
Cooper Hext scored the Poke’s 10th run of the ballgame racing home on Duhon’s groundout to first.
Northwestern starter Drayton Brown (5-5) was charged with the loss, he allowed seven runs on eight hits while fanning five.
Next Game: The Cowboys close out the regular season at Houston Baptist beginning Thursday at 2 p.m.
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