Brown’s complete game, four-run inning keep Northwestern State going in tournament with 6-2 win over McNeese
LAKE CHARLES, La. – Fifth seed Northwestern State scored four runs in the sixth inning to pull ahead for a 6-2 win over sixth seed McNeese in an elimination game in the 2023 Southland Conference Baseball Championship on Friday.
Northwestern State is now 29-26 and quickly turns around for a 6 p.m. elimination game against fourth seed New Orleans, with the winner advancing to Championship Saturday. McNeese’s season ends at 35-23.
The Demons opened the scoring in the bottom of the second when Broch Holmes launched a two-out, two-run homer to left field, also scoring Daunte Stuart, who had led off with a single.
The Cowboys cut the lead in half in the top of the third on back-to-back doubles by Payton Harden and Josh Leslie, but Leslie would be stranded at third as the potential tying run.
Uncharacteristic pitching miscues by McNeese kicked off the four-run inning for the Demons, as a fielding error by the pitcher, a hit batsman, and walk loaded the bases, with a wild pitch bringing home Gabe Colainni. Bo Willis brought home two runs on a single and Jacob Farrell was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to push the Demons up 6-1.
NSU pitcher Drayton Brown not only went the distance for his sixth win of the season, but was perfect in innings 4-7 as his offense gave him some breathing room. McNeese threatened in the eighth as Braden Duhon led off with a single, moved to second on a ground out and scored on Leslie’s single to make it 6-3. Tre’ Obregon III doubled to put two runners in scoring position, but the door was then slammed shut.
For Northwestern State, Brown allowed two runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in the complete game effort. Holmes was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and the homer, while Willis drove in two.
For McNeese, Leslie and Obregon each had two hits, with Obregon driving in a pair of runs. Burrell Jones fell to 4-5 with the loss, allowing two runs on four hits in 5.0 innings.