Cowboys extend win streak to five, Rogers first pitcher in school history to win first five starts

Published 8:00 am Saturday, March 18, 2023

Grant Rogers wasn’t perfect Friday night, but his start to the season has been.

The junior right-hander is the first McNeese State starter to begin a season with five consecutive victories after the Cowboys knocked off Yale 7-1 in Joe Miller Ballpark.

The win was McNeese’s fifth in a row and 10th in 11 games. They have won their last nine at home. The Cowboys (13- 5) improved to 10-2 at the “Jeaux”.

Email newsletter signup

Rogers allowed five hits over eight innings, striking out eight and walking none. After a slow start Rogers retired the last 16 batters he faced as he lowered his ERA to 0.77. The 6-foot-7, 230-pounder has 39 strikeouts in 35 innings with five walks. He has thrown 33 scoreless innings.

“Grant didn’t have his best stuff to start game but he battled,” said McNeese head coach Justin Hill. “He wasn’t super sharp, but he was able to get it going.”

The Bulldogs’ lone run came three batters into the game as Rogers saw his consecutive scoreless innings streak end at 192/3. Jimmy Chatfield’s double gave Yale (4-7), which lost its fourth in a row, the early 1-0 lead.

Rogers was back in trouble again in the second when Yale loaded the bases with one out. That’s when Rogers got Jake Williams to ground into an inning-ending double play.

“That was huge,” Rogers said. “I love my defense. Wasn’t going well the first two innings. I tweaked some things and it worked.”

Once he got going Rogers was unhittable.

“I was just rolling, trying to get my team in the dugout,” Rogers said.

After the double play the McNeese offense took over.

The Cowboys scored four times off Yale starter Bryan Reese (1-1) in the second. Taylor Darden’s run-scoring single was the key hit. Darden finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

Josh Leslie had two hits and drove in a pair of runs, his big hit scoring Cooper Hext from second in the fourth.

The Cowboys put the game away in the fifth with two runs to lead 7-1.

Tré Obregon stole home for one run and Darden knocked in Braden Duhon with the other.

Hext and Duhon each scored two runs for the Cowboys.

The two teams will meet again at 2 p.m. today.

McNeese will send Houston transfer Derrick Cherry (2-0, 3.10 ERA) to the mound. Yale did not announced its starter.