Lamar outslugs McNeese

Published 7:56 pm Friday, May 24, 2024

If McNeese State is to win the Southland Conference title, it will have to do it the hard way.

The Cowboys saw their hopes of reaching the championship game without a loss end Friday evening in Hammond.

With the wind blowing out at Pat Kenelly Diamond, Lamar outslugged the Cowboys 18-9 to stave off elimination. 

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The two teams will play again Saturday with the winner going to the title game later. The start of the rematch will depend on Friday’s late game.

If Southeastern beats Nicholls, McNeese and Lamar will play at 9 a.m. If Nicholls wins, the game will start at 1 p.m. with the title battle to follow. 

The top-seeded Cardinals blasted six home runs, tying their own tournament record for a game in the process. Half of those were hit by River Orsak, who had four hits and drove in five runs. 

McNeese had four homers as the teams combined for 10 long balls.

The teams combined for 25 hits, 15 of them going for extra bases.

Orsak had a huge day. He also hit a pair of homers in the Cardinals’ first game of the day, an 18-4 thumping of Incarnate Word. 

The win over McNeese was Lamar’s third in two days while facing elimination. If they are to win the title the Cardinal will have survived five elimination games over three days.

McNeese was led by Simon Larranaga, who hit a pair of home runs and drove in three. Peyton LeJeune homered for the third time in the last two games for the Cowboys, who stayed in the game through seven innings.

The two teams were tied 8-8 through four and Lamar led just 10-9 heading into the eighth. That’s when the Cardinals broke the game open.

Scoring eight times in the inning, Lamar grabbed the nine-run lead. The big blast Zak Skinner’s grand slam. 

The home run came after McNeese had walked Orsak to load the bases.