LAKE CHARLES — The McNeese Cowboys defeated the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 5-4 Tuesday night at Joe Miller Ballpark.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
After a scoreless first inning, McNeese struck first with a leadoff home run by Brad Burckel in the bottom of the second inning and then added another solo shot — this one by Payton Harden — in the third.
The Cowboys added another run in the fourth and fifth innings.
Burckel drew a leadoff walk in the fourth and then scored on a groundout by Andruw Gonzales. Cooper Hext led off the fifth with a standup triple and scored on a sacrfice bunt by Harden.
While McNeese was adding to its lead inning after inning, Louisiana’s bats were mainly silent.
Through the first six innings, the Ragin’ Cajuns had struck out six times against McNeese starting pitcher Kainin Morrow.
In fact through the first six, Louisiana had only six base runners with two of those base runners coming off of hits — a single by Conor Higgs in the second and a double by Carson Roccaforte in the sixth.
That all changed in the top of the eighth.
CJ Willis drew a leadoff walk and scored three hitters later on a double by Roccaforte. Heath Hood — who had got on with a single — scored on a sac fly by Julian Brock.
McNeese got one of those runs back in the bottom of the frame. Josh Leslie led off with a error, advanced later on another error and then scored on a sac fly by Tre’ Obregon III.
Louisiana scored a run in the top of the ninth as Willis hit a double which scored pinch hitter John Taylor. Kyle DeBarge then laced a single off the left field wall which scored Willis. DeBarge then stole second base to put the tying run in scoring position but Hood grounded out to end the game.
BIG NUMBER: 9
The University of Louisiana lineup struggled early on in Tuesday’s contest as the team plated only two hits and struck out nine times in the first six innings.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: KAININ MORROW
Morrow frustrated Louisiana’s lineup as he pitched six shutout innings giving up two hits, striking out six hitters, walking four more and hitting one batter.
UP NEXT: McNeese (4-4) returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to Baton Rouge to take on Southern University. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Louisiana (6-2) meanwhile will host Campbell for a three-game series starting this Friday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.