McNeese Baseball Wins 2022 SLC Regular-Season Title

McNeese Baseball Southland Champs
McNeese Baseball Southland Champs(McNeese Athletics)
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 9:45 PM CDT
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HOUSTON -  The McNeese Cowboys (30-21, 15-9 SLC) clinched the fifth outright Southland Conference regular-season championship in program history—its first since 2017—after coming back from a 7-0 first-inning deficit to sweep Houston Baptist (18-33, 11-12 SLC) 14-9, at Husky Field, Saturday Afternoon.

Down 7-0 after the first inning, the Cowboys scored five runs in the second, four in the fourth, one in the eighth, and four more to pull away in the top of the ninth.

After Andruw Gonzales led off the second with a double, Kade Morris hit one of his own to plate Gonzales and open the scoring for McNeese. Payton Harden’s second homer of the series, a two-run shot, narrowed the gap to 7-4. Braden Duhon (RBI groundout) and Josh Leslie (sac-fly) each plated runs in the frame.

McNeese pulled ahead 9-8 with a four-run fourth highlighted by Josh Leslie’s RBI single and Julian Gonzales’ game-tying two-run triple to right-center.

After Josh Leslie and Julian Gonzales both reached via walks, Reid Bourque singled home the game-winning run to left-center with one out to put the Pokes up 10-9 after eight.

RBI singles by Brad Burckel and Josh Leslie increased the lead to 12-9, the final two insurance runs scored when Andruw Gonzales was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Reid Bourque recorded a sac-fly.

Cameron Foster was extremely sharp out of the bullpen pitching a season-high 5.2 innings allowing just one earned run to keep McNeese within striking distance. Foster threw 90 pitches and struck out three.

Tyler Stone (2-0) earned the win after shutting down HBU for the final 2.1 innings. Stone allowed just one hit while striking out four. Stone entered with runners on the corners and two outs in the seventh and recorded a backwards K to end the frame and keep the game tied at nine.

Postgame Video: Justin Hill

Coach Hill Counter: Today’s victory was career victory no. 262 for Head Coach Justin Hill, one shy of tying the all-time record of 263 held by the late Tony Robichaux.

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Next Game:Southland Conference Tournament - #8 Incarnate Word vs. #1 McNeese - Joe Miller Ballpark - 6 p.m.

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