McNeese holds on to beat LSU on record night
LAKE CHARLES – A squeeze bunt from McNeese senior Matt Gallier gave the McNeese baseball team the lead it was looking for late in Wednesday's sold out contest while two home runs from junior Mitchell Rogers sealed the Cowboys' victory over the sixth-ranked LSU Tigers at Joe Miller Ballpark.
A crowd of 2,821 spectators, a complex record, crammed The Jeaux to witness the showdown and neither McNeese or LSU did not disappoint.
With both teams deadlocked at 3-3 in the seventh inning, Gallier took the sign to squeeze and couldn't have executed more perfectly as he laid down the bunt and allowed Robbie Podorsky to score and give the Pokes a one-run lead.
Rogers followed up in the next inning as he belted his second homer of the game over the left field to up the McNeese lead to a 5-3 lead.
LSU made it interesting in the ninth with a run but Trent Fontenot and company shut down the Tigers and carry out the win.
"I think that was the most team-game we have played thus far all the way around this season," said head coach Justin Hill. "Whether it was LSU or someone else, I was proud of how we played a complete game all the way around. The atmosphere was fantastic and thought our fans represented well tonight."
Fontenot (1-0) was credited with the win after tossing the last 2.2 innings and fiving up one run off of three hits. The Cowboys struck out eight LSU batters combined as Grant Anderson led the way with four of his own punchouts.
"Trent did a great job and I was really proud of what he did tonight," said Hill. "It was a situation where we had to stretch him out a bit and the lineup turned over a couple of times. We had to make a play and make pitches behind it. I was proud of how we competed from top to bottom."
It was the second consecutive victory for McNeese in the all-time series as the Cowboys shut out the Tigers last season in Baton Rouge. Wednesday's victory came against the highest ranked opponent since defeating LSU in 2016.
The Pokes improved to 9-4 overall on the season and remain perfect with a 9-0 mark at The Jeaux. LSU fell to 9-4 after having dropped its second contest to a Southland Conference team on the year.
For the 10th time this season, the Cowboys scored the first run of the game following a two-out double from Gallier that crossed a run to lead early, 1-0.
LSU scored a run in the top of the second inning but it was McNeese's Mitchell Rogers that responded with his second launch of the season as he homered in the bottom of the frame to take the lead again, 2-1.
With the Tigers cutting the lead once again in the next inning, the Cowboys used a Nate Fisbeck RBI-single to go up 3-2.
Gallier and Rogers combined for three hits and four RBIs while the Cowboys received hits from six total Cowboys. It was the seventh total multiple RBI effort from Gallier, a team-best, this season
The Pokes will enjoy their mid-week victory but will soon have to put it behind them as they open up league play on the road at Central Arkansas this weekend. The Cowboys will open Southland Conference play on the road for the second time in three seasons.
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