Cowboys rally for 11-8 win over HBU on Tuesday
HOUSTON – For the second time in exactly two weeks, McNeese baseball rallied from an early game deficit and pounded out an 11-8 win over Houston Baptist in non-conference action on Tuesday.
But unlike 14 days ago when the Cowboys scored seven third-inning runs to rally from a 6-1 deficit en route to an identical 11-8 win, on Tuesday, the Cowboys trailed 8-3 after six innings before swinging the sticks for eight of their 14 hits in the final three innings to rally for the victory.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak as McNeese improved to 21-24 overall which completing the two-game season sweep over the Huskies, who fell to 21-24.
Five of the Cowboys in the lineup recorded two hits or more – Brett Whelton with three while Carson Maxwell, Reid Bourque, Joe Provenzano and Jacob Stracner each collected two base knocks.
Zach Rider, the sixth of seven Cowboy pitchers to see the mound, picked up the win after throwing two scoreless innings in running his record to 3-1 on the year. Rider, Brody Strahan and Cayne Ueckert combined to toss the final five innings, holding the Huskies scoreless while allowing just three hits and enabling the Cowboys’ to get back into the game.
Down 8-3 heading to the seventh, Whelton got the five-run inning rally going with a one out single followed by a double off the bat of Stracner to put runners at second and third.
Maxwell then blasted a three-run home run over the left field wall to cut the gap to 8-6, but it didn’t stop there.
Bourque followed the homer with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Provenzano advanced him to third with a single up the middle. Bourque then made it an 8-7 game after he scored on a two-out wild pitch as Provenzano advanced to second, and then third on another wild pitch.
After Dustin Duhon walked, Provenzano tied things up with a third wild pitch of the inning to tie the game at 8-8.
McNeese went up for good after Whelton hit a one-out, eighth inning double, Stracner was hit by a pitch, Maxwell walked to load the bases, and Bouque hit a two-run single to put the Cowboys up 10-8.
The final run scored in the top of the ninth off Whelton’s sacrifice fly to score Jake Cochran who hit a one out single to reach base.
Peyton McLemore started the game for the Cowboys and threw two innings, giving up two runs on five hits with three strike outs.
McNeese Saturday starter Bryan King saw limited action when he got the Cowboys out of a one-out jam in the third inning after HBU had already scored two runs to go up 4-0. King struck out both batters he faced to end the Huskies’ rally and his work was done for the night.
The Cowboys got on the board in the top of the fourth inning when Maxwell lead off with a single then eventually scored on a balk to make it a 4-1 game. Two batters later, Duhon drove a run scoring single to left field that plated Bourque to cut the margin to 4-2.
An RBI single, double and a two-run home run by the Huskies in the fourth inning opened up an 8-3 lead for the home team.
Stracner gave the Cowboys their fourth run of the night on a solo home run with one out in the fifth, and after a scoreless sixth, the flood gates opened for the Cowboys to capture the win.
McNeese will continue its five-game road trip this weekend when it visits Corpus Christi for a three-game Southland Conference series beginning Friday.
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