LAKE CHARLES, La. -- McNeese State designated hitter Mitchell Rogers unloaded two home runs, and the Cowboys scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a sacrifice bunt to post a 5-4 win over seventh-ranked LSU at Joe Miller Ballpark.
The Tigers dropped to 9-4 on the season, while McNeese improved to 9-4.
LSU will play host to Wichita State this weekend in a three-game series at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. First pitch for Game 1 is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT Friday, Game 2 will start at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday and Game 3 is set for 2 p.m. CT Sunday.
LSU entered the top of the ninth inning facing a 5-3 deficit, but the Tigers staged a rally against McNeese reliever Trent Fontenot. With one out, third baseman Josh Smith singled and first baseman Jake Slaughter doubled before DH Chris Reid lined an RBI single to narrow the gap to 5-4.
Fontenot, however, struck out pinch hitter Jordan Romero and retired leftfielder Beau Jordan on a grounder to short to end the game.
Fontenot (1-0) was credited with the win as he worked the final 2.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
Smith highlighted LSU's 12-hit output on the night by going 4-for-4 at the plate with one RBI. LSU, though, left 14 runners on base.
"We certainly had our opportunities, we just didn't take advantage of all of them," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We're just a play or two short from winning the game, and we could be talking about a nice victory instead of a tough loss. It's a learning process for our team, and our players will grow from the experience."
McNeese grabbed a 1-0 lead against LSU starter Zack Hess in the bottom of the first inning when rightfielder Matt Gallier belted a two-out RBI double. LSU tied the contest in the top of the second when Smith led off with a single and later scored on a two-out RBI single by Jordan.
Rogers launched a homer - his second of the season - to lead off the second inning and give the Cowboys a 2-1 advantage. LSU knotted the game again in the third on a run-scoring single by Smith that scored shortstop Kramer Robertson from third base.
McNeese took the lead in the bottom of the third against Hess on rightfielder Nate Fisbeck's RBI single. The Cowboys held the 3-2 advantage until the top of the seventh when centerfielder Antoine Duplantis reached on an error and later scored on Slaughter's groundout to third.
The Cowboys, however, scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh when leftfielder Robbie Podorsky led off with a single against reliever Todd Peterson and later scored from third on Gallier's sacrifice bunt.
Rogers unloaded his second solo shot of the game in the bottom of the eighth to increase the Cowboys' lead to 5-3.
Peterson (0-1) was charged with the loss, surrendering one run on one hit in 0.1 inning.