Last Modified: Saturday, February 23, 2013 6:51 PM
Blake Ware was in complete control for McNeese State on Saturday afternoon, tossing a two-hit, complete-game shutout of Arkansas-Pine Bluff to lead the Cowboys to a 2-0 win.
Ware (1-1) retired the final 16 Golden Lions he faced in order, allowing McNeese to breeze through a game that took only 2 hours to finish.
“It’s a great job by him, it really is, especially after his last outing,” said coach Terry Burrows. “He really had something to prove. He really and truly never lost any steam.”
It was precisely the effort Burrows was looking for after Ware allowed four runs in the first inning of last week’s season opener against Towson.
“I wasn’t able to erase it, but it gave me some things I needed to work on during the week,” Ware said. “I fixed everything I needed to and just threw strikes today.”
The Golden Lions (2-5) did not hit a ball out of the infield in the final four innings.
“Weak grounders, weak pop flies, we can make those plays all day,” Ware said. “We’ve got a great defense, why not make them work?”
Ware was remarkably efficient, throwing 73 of his 97 pitches for strikes.
“You just have to keep throwing strikes and let them get themselves out,” Ware said.
Ware’s line is even more impressive when compared to his counterpart, UAPB starter Jim Ploeger. Ploeger (1-1) allowed 2 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings, but had to be pulled after throwing 102 pitches.
Combined with Bryce Kingsley’s Friday night effort, the Cowboys (2-3) will have a full bullpen at their disposal as they go for the sweep with Sam Peterson getting the start at 1 p.m. this afternoon.
“We have a chance to get three in a row, and it’s like starting back over at 3-3,” Ware said.
McNeese didn’t have a ton of offensive output on Saturday, but it was enough.
Lucas Quary singled home Jackson Gooch in the first, but McNeese left the bases loaded when Ploeger got Hans Ask to fly out to right.
Chayse Marion added an insurance run in the fifth when his single brought home Skylar Barrentine.
The Cowboys ran themselves out of a potentially big inning in a bizarre eighth that saw UAPB reliever Redmond Floyd face the minimum despite allowing all three batters to reach. Tyler Klouser and Ask were both caught stealing, and Matt Henry was thrown out at second trying to get an extra base on his first hit of the year.
“We made some bad baserunning mistakes towards the end of the game,” Burrows said.