McNeese State's Sam Peterson slides back safely on a pick-off attempt at second as Louisiana College shortstop Garrett Powell drops the ball. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, February 20, 2014 4:49 PMCollective amnesia is conducive to winning baseball.
“It’s paramount,” said Cowboys senior right fielder Matt Williams.
McNeese State demonstrated that trait on Wednesday night, leaving Tuesday’s ugly 12-run loss to Sam Houston State in the rearview mirror with an 11-2 win over Louisiana College.
“The great thing about baseball is you get to play another one tomorrow,” Williams said. “The best thing you can do is put yesterday’s game behind you. The most important game is the next one.”
Granted, the Cowboys (4-1) were supposed to dispatch the Division III Wildcats (1-2) in high-scoring, low-drama fashion.
But taking care of business is also part of the formula for a team that wants to be taken seriously as a contender. For evidence, one needn’t look any further back than last year’s Cowboys, who were beaten by LSU-Alexandria in a midweek game.
“Our guys know baseball,” said McNeese coach Justin Hill. “Anything can happen on any given day, whether you’re playing the Yankees or (whoever). It’s really about your starting pitcher.”
Lance Sefcik (1-0) earned the win in his first college start, allowing a run on six hits in five innings.
He ran into trouble in his final inning, allowing three straight singles to open the inning with the Cowboys leading 2-0. A visit to the mound by Hill settled down Sefcik, and he fired a fastball that bounced right back to him off the bat of Nic Cole and turned into a 1-2-3 double play.
“Coach just said, ‘Relax and get back into the strike zone. And get ready for the ball to come back to you and (throw home),’” Sefcik said. “It helped getting out of a bases-loaded jam and then you’ve only got one out to go.”
St. Louis graduate Darien Bartie singled home a run in LC’s next at-bat, but Sefcik struck out Jermaine Liggins to end the inning.
McNeese pulled away after that, outscoring the Wildcats 9-1 in the final four innings.
Senior center fielder Jackson Gooch led the Cowboys with three RBIs on three singles.
Williams showed his personal amnesia was strong, reaching base all five times he came to the plate after a hitless opening weekend. He was 2-for-3 with a pair of walks and also reached on an error.
The Wildcats used a combination of 10 pitchers. Starter Madison Lachney, an Iowa native, took the loss thanks to an unearned run in the first inning.
“When you have that, it’s really difficult offensively to catch a rhythm,” Hill said. “I thought our hitters did a good job of staying with it.”
McNeese hosts Texas-Arlington in a weekend series beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.