March 1, 2018 10:53:21 AM
LAKE CHARLES, La. -- The McNeese State baseball team had five extra-base hits, including two home runs, Wednesday in a 6-3 victory against Mississippi State at Joe Miller Park.
The Cowboys (2-6) used a double to take a 2-0 lead. A two-run home run gave McNeese State the lead again. A tripled and a steal of home tacked on another run. The Cowboys added an insurance run on another home run.
"We were unable to get the key base hit with runners in scoring position," MSU interim coach Gary Henderson said. "On the mound, it was a tough start, but Keegan (James) really pitched well in relief and gave us a chance."
Trailing 2-0, MSU (3-5) tied the game in the second inning. Justin Foscue started things with a one-out single. Tanner Allen followed with a hit. A ground ball out moved both runners and set the stage for Dustin Skelton's two-run single.
In the eighth, Foscue and Allen started things with back-to-back hits. Alex Pender walked to load the bases. Another walk to Luke Alexander brought in a run. However, a strikeout snuffed that threat.
Hunter Stovall doubled with one out in the ninth, but the Bulldogs couldn't convert.
Jared Liebelt started, but he was lifted with one out in the first inning. Keegan James (0-1) followed with a career-best 5 1/3 innings. He allowed six hits and three runs (all earned). He struck out seven and walked two seven strikeouts. Cole Gordon allowed one hit in the final 2 1/3 innings.
Reid Bourque had two of McNeese State's eight hits. Jake Cochran hit the two-run home run, while Carson Maxwell hit a solo shot.
Tyler Wesley (1-1) pitched five innings to earn the win. Peyton McLemore followed, but he was lifted in the eighth. Grant Anderson earned his first save.
Allen had three hits, while Stovall and Foscue had two.
MSU will return to action Friday when it takes on Louisiana-Lafayette in its first game at the Shriner's College Classic at Minute Maid Park, home of the 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros.
MSU will play Houston and Sam Houston State on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
n Alabama 11, Alabama State 1: At Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Senior Hunter Alexander went 3-for-4 with two RBIs Wednesday to help the Crimson Tide improve to 9-0 with their victory at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
The win secured Alabama's best start to a season since 2002, when coach Jim Wells led the program to a 10-0 start.
"I'm really pleased with the start (to this season)," Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. "Generally speaking, we've done a good job of throwing strikes and playing defense along with stringing together at-bats. There have been some hiccups here and there, but if you do those three things consistently, generally you have a good chance of coming out on top. We've played cleaner baseball than our opponent nine times and that's why we're 9-0."
Senior Chandler Avant, junior Matt Malkin, and sophomore Walker McCleney had multiple hits. Nine of the 11 Crimson Tide hitters registered at least one hit.
Junior right-hander Mason Duke (1-0) threw five scoreless innings in his first career start for Alabama. He allowed one hit and struck out seven. Duke retired the final 11 batters he faced. Senior Tyler Adams, sophomore Davis Vainer, and freshman Brady Greene worked the final four innings.
Alabama will kick off a three-game series against Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The teams also will play at 4 p.m. Saturday and at noon Sunday.
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