The McNeese Cowboys overcame an early-two run deficit, and fielding miscues, to defeat the Nicholls Colonels 8-4 on Friday night. McNeese now advances to the championship round of the Lake Charles Bracket of the Southland Conference Tournament.
With a win Saturday night or Sunday night, McNeese would advance to the best 2-of-3 championship series. The Cowboys would also host the series at Joe Miller Ballpark.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
McNeese got in trouble in the first.
With one out, pitcher Chance Stone hit Xane Washington and then he advanced to second on a wild pitch. Washington would then move to third on a ground out.
Stone would then walk the next two batters to load the bases, and then proceeded to walk two more batters which drove in two runs for the Colonels.
Stone was pulled and Jones came in and got Jaden Collura to strike out looking to end the threat.
McNeese tied it up in the bottom of the second.
With one out, Julian Gonzales was hit by a pitch to reach first base. Andruw Gonzales then lifted a pitch from Tyler Theriot over the left field wall.
In the top of the third, the Cowboys took the lead on a two-out home run by Kade Hunter.
The Colonels would answer in the bottom frame, scoring a run on a two-out throwing error by Jones.
McNeese would retake the lead in the fourth as Gonzales, who led off with a single, scored on a two-out single by Kade Morris. The Cowboys then added a run in the fifth as Brad Burckel, who reached on a leadoff double, scored on a single by Gonzales.
McNeese would add two more in the sixth on a one-out single up the middle by Burckel, and then one more in the ninth on a solo home run by Julian Gonzales. Nicholls added a run in the bottom of the ninth but it wasn’t enough to spur a rally.
BIG NUMBER: 264
McNeese skipper Justin Hill recorded his 264th career win Friday night, surpassing the late Tony Robichaux for most all-time in Cowboys history.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: JULIAN GONZALES & BRAD BURCKEL
Gonzales went 4-for-4 with three runs scored, two RBI and one home run while Burckel went 3-for-5 with one run scored and 2 RBI.
UP NEXT: McNeese (32-20) will play the winner of Saturday’s 1 p.m. elimination game between Incarnate Word-Nicholls game. First pitch for the McNeese game is scheduled for 6 p.m.