Cowboys enjoy offensive outburst

<p>McNeese’s Jake Cochran gets congratulated by Jacob Stracner after scoring during a non-conference game at Joe Miller Park in Lake Charles, La., Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)</p>Rick HickmanRickHickmanPhotographer
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{{tncms-inline content="&amp;lt;p class=&amp;quot;p1&amp;quot; style=&amp;quot;text-align: center;&amp;quot;&amp;gt;&amp;lt;strong&amp;gt;McNeese&amp;amp;nbsp;&amp;lt;/strong&amp;gt;&amp;lt;strong&amp;gt;9,&amp;amp;nbsp;&amp;lt;/strong&amp;gt;&amp;lt;strong&amp;gt;LSU-Alexandria&amp;amp;nbsp;&amp;lt;/strong&amp;gt;&amp;lt;strong&amp;gt;4&amp;lt;/strong&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;" id="5915f7f2-6766-4c2f-a033-82820c787b9b" style-type="quote" title="Score" type="relcontent"}}

<p class="p1">McNeese State starting pitcher Adam Goree didn’t get the outing he wanted, but that didn’t keep the Cowboys from running past LSU-Alexandria with some timely hitting for a 9-4 victory Wednesday night at Joe Miller Ballpark.

<p class="p3">McNeese head coach Justin Hill said it was nice to see the offense produce, regardless of who the Cowboys played.

<p class="p3">“The offense came out on fire,” Hill said. “We’ve had some slow starts. That was something our guys wanted to do. They wanted to do their part and give our pitchers a chance to go out there and not be perfect.”

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<p class="p3">The Cowboys (11-18) fell behind early when Goree (0-2, 10.93 ERA) gave up a pair of runs on three hits to the NAIA Generals (17-18), but they evened the score in the bottom of the frame on an RBI groundout by Shane Selman to Carson Maxwell and an RBI single by Joe Provenzano that scored Reid Bourque. Maxwell and Bourque reached by drawing walks.

<p class="p3">The Cowboys added two runs and took a 4-2 lead in the second inning thanks in large part to a dropped strikeout pitch and throwing error by LSU-A catcher Thane Lanclos that put Jake Cochran on second base and allowed Dustin Duhon to reach home plate. Two batters later, Maxwell scored Cochran with an RBI single into left field that gave McNeese the two-run lead.<p>McNeese’s Carson Maxwell hits a double to drive in 3 runs in the bottom of the 3rd during a non-conference game at Joe Miller Park in Lake Charles, La., Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)</p>Rick HickmanRickHickmanPhotographer
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<p class="p3">“Hitting’s contagious,” Cochran said. “When you can string those hits together like that you can really put some runs on the board. Obviously, this year we’ve kind of struggled stringing hits together. But we did it tonight, and hopefully we can bring that into the weekend.”

<p class="p3">Goree gave up another run in the third inning after giving up back-to-back hits to lead off the inning. He forced Lanclos into a double play, but that allowed Blake Garrett to score from third before getting out of the inning.

<p class="p3">Goree finished the day after three innings in which he gave up three earned runs on seven hits with two walks and no strikeouts.

<p class="p3">The Cowboys doubled their run count in the fourth inning with a four-run, two-out rally that put the game out of reach.

<p class="p3">After Selman popped out and Provenzano struck out to start the inning, LSU-A starting pitcher Brian Metoyer and reliever Mitchell Gardiner combined to walk four consecutive batters to give the Cowboys a run before Maxwell doubled to right field to clear the bases and give the Cowboys an 8-3 lead.

<p class="p3">“He threw that fastball to me the first two pitches,” Maxwell said. “In warm-ups he was throwing it harder, so I thought it was a changeup. So I changed up my approach back to up the middle with two strikes, and I just kind of waited on it and hooked it over there.”

<p class="p3">From there, the outcome was academic with the Generals adding a run in the sixth inning on a triple by Zach Hebert and a Brody Strahan wild pitch, and the Cowboys getting that run back in the seventh thanks to a triple by Cochran and an RBI groundout by Rogers.

<p class="p3">Reliever Tyler Wesley (2-2, 4.66) earned the win after going two perfect innings with two strikeouts.

<p class="p3">Metoyer suffered the loss after going 22⁄3 innings, giving up seven runs — six earned — on three hits with six walks and two strikeouts.

<p class="p3">“It’s always nice to get a win,” Maxwell said. “It doesn’t matter who we play. It could be the Yankees. It doesn’t matter. Wins feel good.”

<p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><strong>McNeese </strong><strong>9, </strong><strong>LSU-Alexandria </strong><strong>4</strong>

<p class="p2"><span class="s1"><strong>Friday </strong></span><strong>Abilene Christian, </strong><strong>6 p.m.</strong>

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