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Francis Comeaux of New Orleans, left, hands out  beads to Tulane fan Dan Loch of Chicago, ahead of the College World Series game between Oregon St. and Tulane. (Associated Press)

Francis Comeaux of New Orleans, left, hands out  beads to Tulane fan Dan Loch of Chicago, ahead of the College World Series game between Oregon St. and Tulane. (Associated Press)

McNeese, LSU travel to New Orleans

Last Modified: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 4:05 PM

By Rhett Manuel / American Press

Things have been pretty good for McNeese under first-year coach Justin Hill, but last week the Cowboys hit a bit of a funk and lost three of four games including dropping the weekend series to Northwestern State.

The Cowboys (20-14) look to rebound at 6:30 p.m. tonight in New Orleans against a slumping Tulane (14-20), which has lost its last five games and 10 of its last 12.

Tonight’s game will be the first time McNeese and Tulane have played each other in baseball since 2009.

McNeese’s bats struggled in the weekend losses, being shut out in both despite good pitching from Friday starter Kaleb Fontenot and Sunday starter Bryce Kingsley, who put together his best outing of the season in a 4-0 loss. The weekend series loss was the Cowboys’ first of the season and dropped them into a three-way tie for first in the Southland Conference with Northwestern State and Nicholls.

“(It’s) probably (the first time) over a stretch,” Hill said. “I think we’ve had patches of adversity, being that in one game or from one game to the next. Over a weekend when you lose your first series there’s some adversity there.

“Our kids have been through adversity before and I expect us to come out on the good end of it. ... Our kids come to play every day. They do a good job. They’re workers, they’re a tough group and they don’t like to lose.”

McNeese will start senior right-hander Michael Desebrais (0-1, 5.47) tomorrow, but Hill plans to use several pitchers in anticipation of an important conference series against Central Arkansas this weekend.

“There’ll probably be quite a few guys throw,” Hill said. “This will be the third week where we’ve played, had a day off, play and then have a weekend series.

“Most likely, you won’t see anyone after Michael extended over one or two innings. We’ve got to make sure all our arms are ready for the weekend ...”

LSU, which rose to No. 12 in this week’s Baseball America rankings, travels to New Orleans tonight to play Southern Miss (21-16) at 7 p.m. on Cox Sports in its annual Wally Pontiff Jr. Foundation Classic at Zephyr Field.

The Tigers (27-9-1) hope to bounce back from a 10-4 Sunday loss to Arkansas. The Tigers won the series but continued a trend of struggling on Sundays. LSU has gone 1-3-1 on Sunday games in SEC play.

“It was a disappointing day for us,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said Sunday. “We had a chance to sweep the series, but we didn’t get the job done ...”

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