Feb. 21, 2014
BEAUMONT – Jude Vidrine could rest a little bit easier in the ninth inning this time around as the Lamar baseball team took advantage of an earlier start than scheduled on Friday afternoon to beat visiting LIU Brooklyn 9-4 at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
In LU’s previous five ninth innings this season, either the Cardinals or the opposing team sent the tying or go-ahead run to the plate. Friday, however, LU came into the frame with a 9-4 lead and reliever Andrew Beasley sat the Blackbirds down in order.
“I told some of the guys after the game that it was nice to be able to go down the lines and high-five people after a routine top of the ninth,” Vidrine revealed. “You still have to go out play with the same intensity, but really, it just feels good to come out here and get a win.”
Vidrine was one of the primary engines of the LU offense on Friday, racking up a pair of hits to go along with two runs, a walk and a run batted in. Wayne Stanley also had a two-hit day, and the Cards had nine as a team. Neither Sam Bumpers nor Reed Seeley picked up hits, but the former scored three times and the latter knocked in three runs.
Jayson McKinley got the start on the mound for LU, and pitched a career-best 5.2 innings, surrendering two runs on 10 hits and a walk.
“McKinley didn’t have his good stuff today nor his good command, but he found a way to piece it together,” head coach Jim Gilligan said. “But that’s what you have to do sometimes as a pitcher. He found a way to go out and get the job done.”
Due to a lightning strike hitting one of the light poles on Thursday night, the game was moved up to a 1:30 p.m. start, but it didn’t seem to affect either team’s offense in the early going as each scored a run in the opening stanza.
Vidrine got it going quick for the Cards after the team gave up a score in the top half of the inning. The Nederland native belted the first LU triple of the year to right, and Seeley grounded out to first to level the ballgame.
After a Stanley hit and Bumpers hit-by-pitch, Vidrine played a role in two more in the third inning, laying down a sacrifice bunt to put two runs in scoring position. Moments later, a Brian Dreapeau wild pitch allowed the first run to cross. Once again, Seeley followed up with the RBI, reaching on an error to allow Bumpers to score and double the LU advantage.
LIU reclaimed a run in the top of the fifth, but the Cards answered with a couple more. Seeley pushed the first across with a bases-loaded walk, and Kevin Santana brought home another with a sacrifice fly down the right field line.
The Red and White scored four more in the ensuing inning to effectively put the game out of reach.
The Cards will return to action on Saturday with a doubleheader vs. the Blackbirds. Game time has been adjusted from the originally scheduled 1 p.m. start time to noon. Chase Angelle is slated to make the start on the mound for the first game, and Will Hibbs will start the second.