Keeton walks off final at-bat

Published 10:27 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Chase Keeton made his last swing at Joe Miller Ballpark count.

The redshirt senior doubled down the line in left with two-on and two-out in the bottom of the 10th Tuesday night to lift the Cowboys in their home finale.

Keeton’s shot drove in Conner Westenburg from third and Elliot Hebert from second as McNeese State rallied for a 7-6 win over Texas State. 

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“I put a good swing on it and hoped it falls,” said Keeton.

The hit came on a 3-2 pitch and made a winner out of reliever Max Swenson, who improved to 3-0 after allowing a run in the top of the 10th. The Bobcats scored on a wild pitch from Swenson.

The win improved the Cowboys to 28-23 and guaranteed them no worse than a .500 record overall. Texas State fell to 26-27,

“Nice to get right back into the win column,” said Keeton. “It was big for us to hopefully carry over some momentum.”

McNeese will finish the regular season at Nicholls with a three-game set starting Thursday night. The Colonels have a shot at the Southland Conference title while the Cowboys are hoping to keep their fourth-place spot heading into the postseason tournament next week in Hammond.

McNeese can finish as high as fourth and as low as seventh depending on the last week of play.

“It is just a feeling, a vibe you get when you win,” said McNeese head coach Justin Hill. “You want to keep that going. You want to keep playing with some confidence more than with momentum.”

The two teams combined to use 16 pitchers on the night. 

Simon Larrenaga and Cooper Hext each hit their seventh home runs of the season to lead the McNeese offense, which scored three runs on no hits in the fifth. 

Keeton and Larranega each had two of the eight hits. Zach Voss is scheduled to pitch the opener against Nicholls.