Cowboys clinging to final tournament spot

By Special to the American Press

McNeese State is clinging to the final spot in the eight-team Southland Conference tournament, one game ahead of Nicholls

State.

The Cowboys (20-26, 7-14 SLC), who have

lost five straight and 17 of their last 20, will be in Tulsa, Okla., to

play Oral

Roberts. The Golden Eagles (19-26, 13-8 SLC), riding a six-game

winning streak, are in a three-way tie with Southeastern Louisiana

and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for second-place.

McNeese will reverse the usual pitching rotation for the weekend with left-hander Jason Gibson (2-1, 5.86 ERA) starting tonight,

right-hander Blake Ware (5-5, 2.39) on Saturday and freshman right-hander Bryce Kingsley (6-5, 3.01) on Sunday.

ORU will counter with Alex Gonzalez (7-4), Drew Bowen (2-3, 3.93) and Tim Zufall (5-1, 3.57). Gonzalez needs three strikeouts

to pass Jerry Sullivan for fifth on the school’s all-time list at 269. Gonzalez is fifth in the nation with 101 strikeouts

and is second in the Southland with a 1.89 ERA.

The Cowboys are batting .263 with a team ERA of 4.46. Center fielder Andrew Guillotte leads the team with a .304 batting average

and 15 stolen bases. Left fielder Jackson Gooch leads the team with 55 hits, 14 doubles, four homers and 31 RBIs.

Oral Roberts is batting .251 with 23 homers and 32 stolen bases. The Golden Eagles pitching staff has a 3.78 ERA with 299

strikeouts. Designated hitter Tyler Boss (2.81) leads ORU with five homers and 28 RBIs.