SUGAR LAND, Texas — Kyle Cedotal, who spent the bulk of this season on the mound for Southeastern Louisiana, delivered at the plate Thursday, lifting a sacrifice fly to right-center field in the bottom of the 12th inning as the Lions defeated McNeese State 3-2 to stay alive in the Southland Conference tournament.
“Our attitude all season has been that it is going to take all 35 of us, and I think we only had one guy left on the bench,” coach Matt Riser said. “You never know in the tournament who is going to be the hero, and Kyle Cedotal stepped up with a huge at-bat in that last inning to win it for us.”
Top-seeded Southeastern (42-16) eliminated McNeese (32-25), the No. 4 seed, from the tournament.
The Lions advanced to a noon game Friday against the loser of Thursday’s late game between No. 5-seeded Sam Houston State and No. 8 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Daniel Midyett scored from third on Cedotal’s sac fly, sliding around the back side of the plate to avoid the tag. Midyett drew a walk to lead off the inning against Cowboys reliever Cory LaPeze (0-1) and advanced to third on Kevin Carr’s single through the right side.
Freshman right-hander Mac Sceroler (3-2) retired the first five batters he faced after entering the game with a runner at second base and two outs in the ninth.
McNeese threatened in the 11th, putting runners at second and third with one out, but Sceroler induced a ground ball to short off the bat of Lewis Guilbeau. Kennon Menard’s throw home nailed Connor Crane at the plate for the second out.
Matt Gallier then grounded out to third, ending the threat.
“He’s a special guy, and (Scerolor) came in with the attitude that they weren’t going to score,” Riser said. “We had an outstanding defensive effort behind Mac to get out of that jam in the 11th. Chris Eades did an outstanding job blocking the plate on that play and I couldn’t be more proud of that play.”
Southeastern scored single runs in the first and third innings, but the Cowboys rallied for a pair of runs in the seventh inning to tie the score.
Carson Crites tripled with one in the first and scored on Midyett’s grounder to second base, putting the Lions up early.
Crites also scored the Lions’ second run, knocking a two-out single in the third. He advanced to third base on Midyett’s single up the middle and scored on Carr’s single to right.
Sceroler, the fourth Southeastern pitcher, earned the win. LaPeze, who only threw eight pitches (seven balls), was tagged with the loss.
Carr (4-for-6) and Crites (3-for-4) led Southeastern at the plate.
“We have a chance to get on a roll, but we can only worry about tomorrow,” Riser said. “All we know is we’re playing tomorrow at noon and we just have to take it one game at a time.”