Feb. 10, 2007
EDINBURG - Lamar University rallied to get back in the game but could overcome Illinois-Chicago's nine-run first inning as the Flames held on for a 9-8 win over the Cardinals Saturday afternoon at Edinburg Stadium in game four of the Citrus Tournament.
Lamar, who lost its season-opener 5-2 to No. 22-ranked Oklahoma State on Friday, dropped to 0-2 on the season. UIC, who lost 2-1 to host Texas-Pan American on Friday, evened its record at 1-1. The Cardinals close out the Citrus Tournament today with a 1 p.m. game against Cal. State-Northridge.
The Cardinals started the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning. Ryan Baker singled to right field and stole second. Michael Ambort delivered a two-out double to left field to drive in Baker with the game's first run.
Matt Morgal (0-1), a sophomore from Edmond, Okla., had a nightmarish first outing on the mound as a Cardinal. Making his first start of the season, he allowed seven runs, five earned, on four hits with two walks in just one-third of an inning.
Chad Schroeder was hit by a pitch from Morgal to lead off the game for the Flames. After Nick Rainwater flied out, Tyler Moore singled to left field. Larry Gempp, Jr., followed with an RBI single to center field. Micky Pingree doubled down the right field line to drive in Moore.
Ben Trotter delivered a 2-run single to right center to drive in both Gempp and Pingree and put UIC up 4-0. Mike Kaffel and Jake Carr both drew walks to load the bases. Brian Needham was summoned from the Lamar bullpen to replace Morgal on the mound.
After Erik Whinery popped out to second baseman Ryan Baker, Schroeder, making his second plate appearance of the inning, drew an RBI walk to drive in Trotter. Rainwater also drew a bases loaded walk to drive in Kaffel. Carr also scored on the play on an error by Lamar catcher Jeff Vickers. Moore closed out the scoring with a 2-run single to make the score 9-1.
Lamar plated three runs in the top of the third inning to make the score 9-4. Travis Dunson
led off the inning with a single to right center. Baker drove in Dunson with a double to right field. Ambort provided a two-out, RBI double for the second straight time to drive in Baker. Dan Hernandez
drove in Ambort with an RBI single to right field.
The Cardinals scored twice in the top of the sixth inning. David Moore and Brian Lloyd had back-to-back singles with one out. Pinch-hitter Keith Towne singled to right field to load the bases. Erik Kanaby followed with an RBI single to center to drive in Moore. Baker singled to drive in Lloyd and make the score 9-6.
Lamar added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Vickers singled with two outs in the seventh and scored on Moore's RBI double to left center. Kanaby led off the eighth with an infield single and scored on Ambort's RBI ground out to pull the Cardinals within one, 9-8. Lamar went down in order in the top of the ninth inning to end the game.
Joel Skinner (1-0) started and picked up the win for UIC. He allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk in five innings pitched. David Cales pitched the final two innings to earn his first save of the season.
Tim Erickson pitched six innings of scoreless relief for the Cardinals, allowing no hits with eight strikeouts and three walks. Needham allowed two runs on one hits with two walks in two-thirds of an inning. Matt Gore pitched the final inning for the Cardinals, allowing no runs or hits with one strikeout.
Baker went a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI. Ambort was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI. Moore was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Kanaby was 2-for-5 with a runs scored and an RBI. Lamar out hit UIC 17 to five, but committed four errors and walked seven batters.
Lamar returns home to Vincent-Beck Field next weekend as the Cardinals host Holy Cross in a three-game series beginning with Saturday's 1 p.m. doubleheader.