McNeese baseball’s season comes to an end with loss to Northwestern State

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:40 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - After falling to Nicholls in a 14-inning thriller on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the Cowboys were one loss away from their season-ending. McNeese managed to elongate their season for at least 24 hours as they beat second-seeded Incarnate Word on Thursday morning, but on Friday, their season came to an end.

The Cowboys and Demons squared off on Friday afternoon with the winner advancing to play New Orleans at 6:00 with a spot in the championship game on the line, while the loser’s season would come to an end.

Early on things looked bleak for the Pokes as Northwestern State’s Broch Holmes hit a two-run home run to left field which brought in Daunte Stuart, but then McNeese showed some life in the third as Josh Leslie hit a double down the left field line bringing in Payton Harden and cutting the deficit to just one.

Over the next two and a half innings neither team could get anything going, that is until the bottom of the sixth when Northwestern State exploded for four runs with RBIs from Daunte Stuart, and Bo Willis, and a hit by pitch that brought in another run, extending their lead to 6-1, and all but putting the game to rest.

McNeese was able to add a run in the eighth, once again off the bat of Josh Leslie who brought home Braden Duhon, but they weren’t able to crawl back enough as it was the Demons of Northwestern State who went on to win with a final score of 6-2.

The loss for McNeese means their season has officially come to an end as they finish with an overall record of 35-23.

“That’s one of those speeches you never have ready,” said head coach Justin Hill about the speech he gave his team following the season-ending loss. “You know, it’s a possibility, in 48 hours, everybody’s going to be headed home, packing their apartments, all this kind of stuff. It’s one of those that hasn’t hit you yet because you know, for every tough loss, things like that always, hey, we’re going to play again next day, we’ll shake it off, we’ll shake it off. But you know, it’s tough when you know that like, that’s the last moment that this whole team will be together.”

The Southland Conference Tournament championship game is now set for Saturday at 1:00 as top-seeded Nicholls will face off with fourth-seeded New Orleans. If New Orleans wins the two will face off once again as Nicholls has yet to lose in the tournament, while New Orleans has lost once.