McNeese run-rules Southeastern, 18-2, to reach Southland title game

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McNeese-SLU baseball
(Photo: Arief Harlan)

Cowboys earn chance to defend tournament title Saturday night

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HAMMOND, La. – No. 7 McNeese put on an offensive showcase in an 18-2 win over No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana on Friday night to advance to the championship game of the 2021 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament, presented by GeoSurfaces. The Cowboys’ 18 runs and 21 hits are both program bests at the conference tournament.

The middle of the McNeese lineup combined to hit 10-for-14 (.714) with 10 RBI and 10 runs scored, including nearly matching stat lines for Jake Dickerson and Brett Whelton, who both went 4-for-5 with four RBI and three runs.

“Just kind of at a loss of words,” said McNeese head coach Justin Hill. “We came out and scored four runs there in the first inning and just kept going. One of the most challenging things was with (starting pitcher) Ty Abraham. He had 30 minutes in between innings a couple of times kept going out there. He gave us four solid innings.”

The Cowboys struck first in the opening inning, starting with Nate Fisbeck picking up his 61st RBI on the year with a ball that hit off the glove of Christian Garcia as Payton Harden scored from third. After advancing to third on the play, Fisbeck scored on the next at-bat, and Brett Whelton and Reid Bourque rounded out the scoring with an RBI base-hit each.

McNeese matched its output in the second inning on back-to-back run-scoring singles from Jake Dickerson and Whelton, and Bourque picked up a second RBI when he smashed a double into the gap in right-center.

All four Cowboy scores in the third inning came with two outs after three-straight singles and a Julian Gonzales triple pushed the lead to 12.

After the Pokes were finally held to a goose egg in the fourth, they added to their tally on a two-run double down the right-field line from Dickerson, who came around to score on the ensuing at-bat on a Brett Whelton single. McNeese wound up tacking on six in the inning to make it an 18-1 game.

Pokes’ starter Ty Abraham (4-3) picked up the win with four innings of one-run work, while Daniel Dugas (0-1) suffered the loss after giving up five runs on four hits in the opening frame.

The Cowboys will face the winner of No. 1 Abilene Christian and No. 5 Sam Houston in the championship game at 6 p.m. CT Saturday.

2021 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament Presented by GeoSurfaces

Wednesday, May 26
Game 1 – No. 4 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4, No. 5 Sam Houston 3
Game 2 – No. 1 Abilene Christian 7. No. 8 Lamar 1
Game 3 – No. 7 McNeese 12, No. 2 New Orleans 0 (8 innings)
Game 4 – No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana 2, No. 6 Northwestern State 1

Thursday, May 27
Game 5 – Sam Houston 7, Lamar 4 (LU eliminated)
Game 6 – New Orleans 14, Northwestern State 1 (7 innings) (NSU eliminated)
Game 7 – Abilene Christian 4, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 3
Game 8 – McNeese 3, Southeastern Louisiana 2

Friday, May 28
Game 9 – Sam Houston 14, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2 (7 innings) (AMCC eliminated)
Game 10 – Southeastern Louisiana 15, New Orleans 13 (UNO eliminated)
Game 11 – Sam Houston 14, Abilene Christian 12
Game 12 – McNeese 18, Southeastern Louisiana 2 (SLU eliminated)

Saturday, May 29
Game 13 – Sam Houston vs. Abilene Christian, 1 p.m.
Game 14 – Winner Game 13 vs. McNeese, 6 p.m. (Championship)

General Admission booklets, allowing admission to every game of the tournament, are $100 for adults and $50 for youths ages 3-12. Students presenting a valid ID from a current Southland Conference institution, and children under the age of three, will be admitted free of charge.

For each day of the baseball tournament, any remaining tickets will be sold for the morning session (first two games) or afternoon session (last two games). The ballpark will be cleared between sessions and re-entry is not allowed.

Session ticket prices are: $21 (box seats, as available), $17 (chairback seats, as available), $13 (general admission adults) and $9 (general admission youth – ages 3-12).

Tickets can be purchased online at or by contacting the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Fridays. The ticket booth at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field opens exactly one hour prior to the scheduled first pitch.

Southeastern implemented mobile ticketing as the primary method for securing tickets during the 2020-21 school year. Tickets will be available via text message or email in a PDF format for fans to download on their phone or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded to Apple Wallet.

Single-day parking during the 2021 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament, presented by GeoSurfaces, is $5 for most vehicles. An All-Tournament parking pass is available for $20 for standard vehicles and $50 for RVs.

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