Houston scores early in 9-6 win over McNeese

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LAKE CHARLES – Houston built an 8-0 lead through the first five innings before McNeese cranked the bats up, but the Cougars were able to hold off a late Cowboy rally for a 9-6 win here Tuesday night.

The loss snapped the Cowboys’ 11-game home winning streak and seven-game streak overall as they fall to 15-6. Houston won for the fourth straight time to improve to 9-11.

McNeese was held to just one hit until the sixth inning when the bats opened up with a 2-run single by Andruw Gonzales to cut the margin to 8-2. Elliott Hebert followed with a run-scoring double to make it 8-3.

In the seventh, Taylor Darden popped a two-run double that scored Josh Leslie and Tré Obregon III, then after Payton Harden singles and stole second, the runners each advanced a base on a balk as the Cowboys cut the lead to 8-6.

McNeese had a runner stranded on second in the eighth and on first in the ninth as Houston added another run in the top of the inning to widen the gap to 9-6.

Cowboy starter Kainin Morrow (2-1) took the loss after he gave up five runs on four hits in three innings. He struckout three and walked three.

Houston’s Cade Citelli (1-2) picked up the win after throwing five innings and gave up one run and a hit while walking two and striking out eight.

Houston led 2-0 after a first-inning two-run home run by Cameron Nickens. The lead grew to 5-0 following a three-run home off the bat of Anthony Tulimero then a fifth-inning, two-run double by Justin Murray and a sacrifice fly from Ian McMillan put the Cougars up 8-0 after five.

McNeese will continue its 12-game home stand this weekend when it begins Southland Conference play against Nicholls at noon Friday. Saturday’s game will be pushed up to a 2 p.m. first pitch while Sunday’s finale will go on as scheduled at 1.

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