Fireworks scheduled for series

Published 4:14 pm Thursday, April 11, 2024

After Friday night’s game against Incarnate Word at Joe Miller Ballpark, the Cowboys will celebrate the military with a fireworks show.

There might be a lot of fireworks during this weekend’s series with the Cardinals as the wind is predicted to be blowing out with some force for all three games.

“We are going to have to match them some in scoring,” said McNeese State head coach Justin Hill. “We will have to find a way to eliminate the damage.”

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That means not giving up free passes and limiting the number of runners on base.”

Cameron LeJeune is ready. The redshirt junior is likely the first-game starter when the two teams open the Southland Conference showdown at 6 p.m. He has become the ace of an improving starting rotation that has been the key to McNeese this spring.

“I try to keep the ball down in the zone so it won’t change what I’m doing,” said LeJeune, who is 4-2 with a 3.44 earned run average.

McNeese and UIW are tied at the bottom of the SLC at 2-4 in the league. The Cowboys are 16-15 overall while the Cardinals are 17-14.

That makes this a big series but not time for desperation.

“It’s too early to worry about that but we do want to start to play a little more consistent baseball,” said Hill.

McNeese is coming off a lopsided 16-0 loss at LSU Tuesday night while UIW has beaten Baylor (14-1) and Rice (11-5) this week.

“They have a really good offense,” said Hill. “It is expected to be a very offensive ballpark this week.”

The Cardinals have scored 129 more runs and hit 18 more homers than McNeese this year, proving Hill’s point. They have two players hitting over .300 with Dalton Beck (.413) and Ryan Scott Scott (.400) leading the way.

Senior Braden Duhon leads the Cowboys with a .319 batting average, but as a team Mcneese is last in the league hitting at a .247 clip.

“I think it is coming,” Hill said of his offense. “As always it is about us playing good baseball. We are showing signs.”

McNeese’s other two expected starters, Zach Voss (0-3, 4.66) on Saturday and Alexis Gravel (0-1, 3.38) Sunday, are also coming off good showings last weekend.

All three went deep into games against league-leading Lamar, but the last two games saw those Cardinals have walk-off wins to take the series. The trio likes playing off each other’s performances.

“It’s a little competitive, sure,” said LeJeune. “We have fun with it.”

Admission is free for all veterans with a valid ID during the entire weekend.