Confident Cowboys riding high after SLC opener

By By Alex Hickey / American Press

If the opening weekend was any indicator, McNeese State is in for a wild — and winning — ride in Southland Conference play

this season.

Cowboys coach Terry Burrows, a baseball

lifer, called McNeese’s series win over Lamar the strangest he has been

part of. The

Cowboys (14-9, 2-1 SLC) trailed 6-0 in the first inning Friday and

9-0 in the first inning Sunday before rallying to win both

games. In between, there was an 18-inning marathon when neither

team could score until Lamar scratched out the 1-0 win.

“That was the craziest weekend of baseball I’ve been around, ever,” Burrows said. “To be able to come back like we did Friday

and Sunday says a lot about these guys. They know they’re never out of a game now. Nine runs down? It’s almost impossible

to win. And they found a way.”

McNeese will look to continue the momentum in this weekend’s home series with Northwestern State, which begins tonight because

of Easter Sunday.

The Demons (9-18, 0-3) are on the opposite end of the mojo spectrum, coming into the series on a 10-game losing streak. However,

those losses have come to the likes of Oklahoma, Texas Christian, LSU and Southeastern Louisiana.

“They’ve got a new coach in Lane Burroughs, and he’s going to do a good job making them play fundamental baseball,” Burrows

said. “I’ve never seen a Northwestern team that doesn’t play hard. We expect a battle.”

McNeese is 7-3 in its last 10 games, thanks in part to a revitalized offense. Four Cowboys — Connor Lloyd, Jackson Gooch,

Chayse Marion and Taylor Drake — are currently hitting above .300 after only one player was able to do so last year.

“I think getting a few wins definitely helped the confidence,” Marion said. “We started the year on a three-game losing streak,

but after sweeping a few series everything from pitching to hitting got helped in our confidence.”

The only mystery for McNeese is who will solidify the role of No. 3 starter behind Bryce Kingsley and Blake Ware.

Michael Clemens is still the

front-runner to eventually fill that role, but Burrows said he’s still

behind the curve after

missing the early part of the season with a broken hand. That

means Saturday’s starter will depend on who is used out of the

bullpen the first two games of the series.

“We can start Clemens, Trey McGee, Sam

Peterson, Tyler Parke,” Burrows said. “The problem is when you take one

of those guys

out of the bullpen, then you’re losing an arm out of the bullpen.

We’ll use whoever we can to win (the first two games) and

then figure it out.”