Feb. 17, 2013
BEAUMONT – Sam Bumpers ended Lamar’s series with Northern Kentucky in the same way that he started it, with a walk-off hit, belting a single up the middle to secure a 10-run lead in the seventh inning to bring the game to a close at 14-4.
Bumpers, who went 3-for-5 on Sunday, concluded his debut series in the Red and White with a .563 average with four runs scored and eight runs batted in to lead the Cardinals to a four-game sweep.
Lamar now sits at 4-0 for first time since 2010 and just the 12th time in history.
Bumpers was far from the only standout performer as both Jude Vidrine and Aaron Olivas had sterling 3-for-3 outings at the plate, and Darian Johnson bounced back from a bit of slow start to the season with a 3-for-4 day with five RBI.
Every LU position player reached base and all nine starters recorded at least one hit, helping the Cards out-hit the Norse 19-8.
Lamar, who scored in all but two innings, drew blood first with a pair of scores in the opening stanza. Vidrine knocked in the first of the game after V.J. Bunner earned a lead-off walk and later scored on a Johnson groundout.
The Norse cut the lead in half in the next inning, racking up a trio of two-out singles before LU starter Chase Angelle left Ryan LeFevers flailing at a third strike.
Angelle earned his first win of the year, allowing four hits and two runs over 3.2 innings. He also struck out three.
Three other pitchers appeared for LU as Hunter Perry, Brett Brown and Lance Warren each made their debut. Brown, who ranked second in the nation in strikeouts a year ago for Nederland High School, struck out three of the first four batters he faced.
Bunner got things going again for the Cards in the second with a single up the middle, and Vidrine followed up in similar fashion. Johnson made it count, doubling to left center to bring it to 4-1 after two.
After another NKU score in the fourth, singles by Bumpers and Bunner and a Johnson walk loaded the bases. Picha earned a walk to bring one in, and Olivas singled to center to score the other two, running the total to 7-2.
Bunner finished the day 2-for-3 with three runs.
The two sides traded scores in the fifth, with Bumpers and Johnson combining once more for a run.
NKU added another in the top of the seventh before the LU offense opened up yet again, sending nine players to the plate, culminating with Bumpers’ game-ending single.
The Cards will now prepare for their only road game in the month of February, traveling to Alex Box Stadium on the campus of LSU to take on the Tigers on Tuesday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.