LAKE CHARLES, La. - A dominant offensive performance from Joey Rapp and a solid relief outing from Fraser Adams powered the ULM baseball team to an 8-6 comeback win over McNeese State Tuesday night at the Cowboy Diamond.
Chris Dudley and Les Aulds were consecutively hit by pitches in the top of the eighth inning, and were both moved over by a Caleb Clowers sacrifice bunt. Jeremy Sy drew a walk to chase Ryan Sampere (1-2) and load the bases. Rapp grooved a 1-1 pitch from Tyler Parke into left field, scoring Dudley and Aulds to slingshot ULM (22-23) on top 7-6. Corben Green sliced an RBI single through the right side, scoring Sy from second to up the lead to 8-6.
Adams (1-1) sat the Cowboys down in order in the bottom of the eighth, striking out Trey Rickrode and Renny Weber to hold the lead at two runs (8-6). The Warhawk southpaw retired the side in the bottom of the ninth to seal the victory.
Adams threw 4.2 innings of one-hit baseball, walking one and tying a career-high with five strikeouts for his first career win at ULM.
Rapp drilled a 0-1 pitch from Jason Gibson deep and out to straight away center field in the top of the second inning to give ULM a 1-0 lead. Judd Edwards reached on a fielding error by the center fielder Andrew Guillotte, Green singled to right center field and Justin Stawychny drew a five-pitch walk to load the bases with nobody out. Gibson responded by striking out Taylor Abdalla and Dudley and forcing Aulds to fly out to center field to retire the side.
Rapp led all players with a 3-for-5 night, drawing one walk and adding a stolen base. The senior first baseman finished a triple shy of the cycle, and chipped in four RBIs and scored two runs. Clowers and Green each added a pair of hits for ULM, while Dudley scored twice.
McNeese State (18-24) tied the game on a Nick Eubanks double to left field off of Alex Hermeling in the bottom of the second inning. Eubanks lined a 1-0 offering into the corner, plating Seth Granger from first base to square the contest at 1-1. A bunt single from Matt Williams loaded the bases for the Cowboys with no men out. Guillotte worked a five-pitch walk to score Eubanks and give McNeese State a 2-1 advantage. A wild pitch and an RBI groundout by Weber upped the lead to 4-1.
Clowers led off the top of the third with a single to center field off Gibson, and later scored on an RBI double to left field off the bat of Rapp (4-2). A throwing error by the catcher Matt Henry allowed Rapp to score all the way from second base, bringing the Warhawks within one run at 4-3.
Gibson walked Clowers on a 3-1 pitch to load the bases in the top of the fourth inning. A sacrifice fly to right field by Sy scored Abdalla to tie the game at 4-4.
A wild pitch scored Henry from third base in the bottom of the fifth inning, vaulting McNeese State in front 5-4. Adams recorded the final two outs of the frame, striking out Rickrode swinging to end the treat.
Dudley roped a leadoff double down the left field line in the sixth inning to spark a Warhawk rally. Clowers then knocked a one-out double to the gap off Sampere to score Dudley and tie the game at 5-all. After Rapp reached after a full-count walk, Sampere forced Edwards to pop out to shortstop to end the inning.
Guillotte reached first on a bunt single to open the bottom of the sixth, then proceeded to steal second and third base on consecutive plays. A Weber sacrifice fly to left field put the Cowboys back on top 6-5.
The Warhawks host UALR in the final Sun Belt Conference series of the season at Warhawk Field this weekend. First pitch Friday is set for 6 p.m.