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McNeese State Cowboys head baseball coach Terry Burrows. (American Press Archives)

McNeese State Cowboys head baseball coach Terry Burrows. (American Press Archives)

Cowboys complete conference sweep of Demons

Last Modified: Saturday, March 30, 2013 6:31 PM

By Jim Gazzolo / American Press

It would be hard to call McNeese State’s win Saturday a sweeping sensation.

The starting pitcher didn’t get out of the fourth inning, eight runners were left on base and the Cowboys committed two errors.

Yet McNeese showed more than enough resilience to overcome those numbers and finish off Northwestern State 5-4 to earn a Southland Conference series sweep Saturday at Cowboy Diamond.

“We want to keep rolling,” said Cowboys right fielder Matt Williams. “You want to finish off a sweep when you get the chance.”

Williams ended the day 3-for-3 with three RBIs to lead the 11-hit McNeese attack.

“As a team we are swinging the bats much better, taking better care of our at bats,” Williams said.

Sophomore Andrew Guillotte also had three hits, as he celebrated his birthday with a strong performance offensively and defensively.

Guillotte started the four-run McNeese third with a perfectly placed bunt single. After Michael Sullivan (2-for-3) drove in the first two runs for the Cowboys with a single, and Williams knocked home a pair with a two-out triple to right-center.

“We have been able to get some timely hits and make the most of our chances,” said Williams, who also had a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

The rest of the game was left up to the bullpen.

After starter Michael Clemens was hit for three runs in the fourth, the Cowboys pen allowed one more run over the final six innings. Tyler Parke did most of the heavy lifting by allowing just a solo home run to Matt Burns in the seventh.

Parke (2-0) worked 3 2/2 innings to earn the win.

“You just have to come in and get outs,” Parke said. “We have a lot of guys on this team who can get outs when we need them.”

Lucas Quary got the last three by pitching a perfect ninth to earn his fourth save.

“Our bullpen really came through for us,” said McNeese head coach Terry Burrows. “That was big what Tyler Parke was able to do.”

McNeese also made some key plays in the field. Guillotte threw a runner out at the plate in the sixth and freshman catcher Cameron Toole gunned down a pair of runners trying to steal second earlier in the game.

“That was a big throw from Andrew,” Burrows said. “An incredible play. The throw had to be perfect and it was.”

As for Toole, he is making a name for himself with his arm.

“I like when they try and run,” Toole said. “It is an easy out for us. It is deflating for them when we can throw somebody out.”

Toole has gunned down 17 of 24 would-be base stealers.

“He is going to be something special behind the plate,” Burrows said of his catcher. “In fact, he already is.”

The win was the 11th in 14 games for the Cowboys (17-6, 5-1 SLC).

“I think we have a chance to surprise some people,” Williams said.

As for the Demons (9-20, 0-6), they are streaking in the other direction. They have lost 13 straight.

“We have been playing pretty good baseball lately,” Williams said. “We just want to keep it up.”

The Cowboys will take their four-game winning streak on the road for a game Tuesday against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Posted By: Michael T On: 3/31/2013

Title: Sad

Wow... the American Mess never ceases to amaze me....nothing like some good ole negativity from your dead beat writers to start off a story after the Cowboys sweep a conference weekend and continue to win. Sad that an entire community has to read what a couple of negative writers have to say. Terrible

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