Last Modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:15 PMEarly deficits are starting to become nothing more than a mild annoyance for the McNeese baseball team.
The Cowboys came back from a first-inning hole for the third time in four conference games, looking unfazed in what became a relatively easy 11-5 win over Northwestern State at Cowboy Diamond on Thursday night.
After falling behind 6-0 and 9-0 in wins over Lamar last week, Northwestern State’s 2-0 second-inning lead didn’t feel like much of a mountain to climb.
“Coach Burrows told us we’re never out of a college baseball game,” said third baseman Tyler Klouser. “All sorts of things can happen.”
Klouser gave McNeese (15-9, 3-1 Southland) the swing it needed to pull ahead, delivering a grand slam to left field in the bottom of the second. It was the first of three home runs by Cowboy hitters.
“I’m not a home run guy,” Klouser said. “I’m just trying to hit a hard line drive. I just happened to run into one, and it still hasn’t landed yet.”
Chayse Marion clobbered a solo shot over the right-field wall and into McNeese’s track and field complex in the sixth, while Michael Sullivan similarly battered one to left in the seventh.
The Cowboys entered the night with five homers in their first 23 games.
“At the beginning of the season we’d have good hitters counts and just get too anxious and swing at bad pitches,” Klouser said. “We’re just trying to square up and hit it hard. It just so happens we hit a few over the fence today.”
For the second straight outing, pitcher Bryce Kingsley bounced back from a shaky beginning to earn the win. After allowing a run in the first and second, Kingsley faced the minimum the next three innings.
He ran into trouble in the seventh, walking the bases loaded with no one out. But with McNeese holding a 7-2 lead, coach Terry Burrows wanted to let the freshman try and work out of the jam.
He did, allowing only one run to score on a fielder’s choice. Kingsley (5-2) finished with 3 runs allowed (2 earned) on six hits and four walks.
“He’s a competitor. He’s been in some tight situations in the program he came out of at Barbe. He’s used to it,” Burrows said. “I just thought I’d give him a chance to work out of it. As I pitcher myself I always liked the opportunity to work out of a jam. You don’t want to leave it to somebody else.”
Cody Butler (1-2) took the loss for the Demons (9-19, 0-4), who dropped their 11th straight.