Cowboys belt out 17 hits in 12-8 win over UTA

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ARLINGTON, Texas – McNeese pounded out a season-high 17 hits and scored 10 runs in the last four innings as the Cowboys took a 12-8 win over UT Arlington to win the weekend series on Saturday.

McNeese (3-3) will go for the sweep on Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Cowboys belted out nine doubles, a triple and three home runs in the game was first baseman Elliot Hebert, who was making his McNeese debut, finished the day 3 for 4 with three doubles, two RBIs and a run scored.

Six Cowboys in the lineup picked up two hits or more. Second baseman Brad Burckel went 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and two runs scored; catcher Andruw Gonzales finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored; left fielder Cooper Hext 2-for-5 with a triple, three RBIs and two runs scored; center fielder Payton Harden 2-for-4 with a double and RBI; and shortstop Josh Leslie 2-for-5 with a double, home run, RBI and two runs scored.

Relief pitcher Christian Vega (1-0), the fourth of four pitchers to see the mound for the Cowboys, picked up the win after tossing 2 1/3 innings and allowing one run on two hits and struck out four batters. Starter Derrick Cherry got the no-decision after going 4 2/3 innings and allowing five runs on four hits.

UTA (1-6) had seven hits in the game with one player getting two.

McNeese led 2-0 through 4 ½ innings when the Mavericks plated six runs on three hits in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-2 lead.

The Cowboys came back with three runs in the top of the sixth when Leslie led off with a home run and Gonzales followed with a two-run double to cut the margin to 6-5.

UTA led 7-5 going to the seventh where the Cowboys tied the game after Hext led things off with a triple then scored on a sack fly by Harden. Leslie then doubled to right field and scored when Burckel followed with a single through the right side.

In the eighth, Hext blasted a one-out, three-run homer over the right-center field wall to build a 10-7 lead, then after UTA added a run in the bottom of the inning to close the margin to 10-8, Gonzales struck again with an RBI double that scored Burckel who led-off the inning with a double to right-center. Hebert then hit his third double of the game when he popped one to right field that scored Gonzales to make it a 12-8 lead.

Elliot’s three doubles are the most by a player in the Southland Conference this season while the nine team doubles ranks as the most in the league and 17 hits matches a conference-high.

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