No. 7 McNeese extends tourney win streak in 3-2 triumph over No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana

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Lions strand seven as Cowboys win sixth straight Southland tournament contest

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HAMMOND, La. – McNeese is probably beginning to forget what it feels like to lose a conference tournament game – something that hasn’t happened since 2018 – as the Cowboys held off No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana 3-2 for their sixth-straight tourney win on Thursday at the 2021 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament, presented by GeoSurfaces.

The defending tournament champion took an early lead, courtesy of a three-run shot off the bat of Nate Fisbeck, who extended his league-leading RBI tally to 60, the eighth-most in single-season program history. The long ball served as an emphatic response to the Lions’ two-run shot in the inning before.

The Cowboys bullpen did their part in limiting SLU to just one hit over the final four frames and ousting any scoring chances as the Lions finished with seven left on base.

The Lions put two on by way of a hit-by-pitch in the seventh, chasing reliever Bryson Hudgens from the game, but Brad Kincaid forced an inning-ending double-play to maintain the lead.

McNeese skipper Justin Hill made another call to the pen with a runner in scoring position and two outs in the eighth, and Cameron Foster rung up Rhett Rosevear with a sweeping curveball to give SLU seven men left on.

Cowboys starter Jonathan Ellison (5-3) picked up the win after allowing just two runs on three hits with five punchouts over five innings.

“That was such a fun game,” said Ellison who threw just 88 pitches in five innings which could make him available later in the tournament if needed. “I can’t say enough about those guys that came in after me. Brad (Kincaid), what a great outing by him. Bryson and then Cameron finishing it up.”

Cameron Foster (5) earned the save with 1.1 innings of perfect relief to close the door on the game. Brennan Stuprich (6-3) suffered the loss after giving up three runs on five hits in seven frames.

“Both teams played really well,” said McNeese head coach Justin Hill. “Both defenses made plays, they threw out a couple of our guys, we made some big plays and struck out batters in key situations. I don’t think either of us expected a 3-2 game.

“What a great job by Ellison pitching in the biggest game of his career. They got the two run bomb and I was curious to see how he would respond. He was fantastic.”

The Lions will take on No. 2 New Orleans in an elimination game at noon CT Friday with the loser going home and the winner advancing to face the Pokes at 7 p.m.

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 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 9 a.m.
Game 10 – New Orleans vs. Southeastern Louisiana, 12 p.m.
Game 11 – Abilene Christian vs. Winner Game 9, 4 p.m.
Game 12 – McNeese vs. Winner 10, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 29
Game 13 – Winner Game 11 vs. Loser Game 11 (Only necessary if Game 9 winner wins Game 11)
Game 14 – Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 12 (Only necessary if Game 10 winner wins Game 12)
Game 15 – Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 14, 6 p.m.
If only one of the two early games is necessary on Saturday, it will be played at 1 p.m.

TOURNAMENT TICKET INFORMATION
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 www.LionSports.net/Tickets 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.

MOBILE TICKETING
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.

GAMEDAY PARKING
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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