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McNeese, which has lost its last five games, hopes to end that streak against No. 2 Louisiana-Lafayette tonight at M.L.

McNeese, which has lost its last five games, hopes to end that streak against No. 2 Louisiana-Lafayette tonight at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field. (Rick Hickman / American Press)

McNeese hopes to finish strong against ULL

Last Modified: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 12:45 PM

By Albert Burford / American Press

When McNeese hosted Louisiana-Lafayette almost two weeks ago, the Cowboys were atop the Southland Conference standings, winners of five of their last six games.

Things haven’t gone to plan for McNeese since then.

When the Cowboys travel to M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field in Lafayette for a 6 p.m. game today against the No. 2 Ragin’ Cajuns, they will be attempting to snap a five-game losing streak and win their second game since April 5.

In the first game this season between Louisiana-Lafayette (36-5) and McNeese (20-18), scoring was back-and-forth for much of the contest, but a six-run eighth inning fueled a 14-8 victory for the then-No. 1 Ragin’ Cajuns.

McNeese coach Justin Hill said nothing has changed since the first meeting between the teams.

The Cowboys have lost seven of their last eight games. Two of those losses in the last week came in extra innings.

“We’re right in there in late-inning ball games,” he said. “It’s just a matter of us playing better as a team. Whether that takes an outstanding pitching performance late in the ball game, the clutch hit or a great defensive play, that’s just good baseball. It’s going to happen for us because it’s something we’re working toward.”

McNeese has lost five consecutive midweek games. Their last midweek win came in a 20-3 rout of Louisiana Tech on March 5.

Hill said losing streaks or winnings streaks are just part of the season.

“The biggest thing is you don’t change what you do. You don’t blow up the model you had success with,” he said. “We’re doing the same things at practice and trying to emphasize the same things, but bottom line is in the ball game itself, it comes down to making plays. The previous games don’t have any effect on you unless you let them, win or lose.”

Michael Desabrais will get the nod on the mound for McNeese. Desabrais (0-1) has started seven games this season, mostly midweek contests. In the Cowboys’ last game against the Ragin’ Cajuns, Desabrais allowed four walks, four hits and six runs (four earned) in 223 innings of work.

McNeese will get some help perserving its weekend personnel since this week’s game comes on a Tuesday rather than a Wednesday, when most midweek games are played. Hill said the Cowboys are focused on tonight’s game, but will also have an eye on this weekend’s conference matchup against Incarnate Word, as McNeese fell out of a tie for first place in the Southland after getting swept at Central Arkansas this weekend.

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