Feb. 28, 2008
Jeff Vickers went 2-for-4 with three RBI and hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie and lift Lamar to a 4-2 win over Michigan State at Vincent-Beck Stadium in the Cardinal Classic, present by YMBL Thursday.
Both teams are now 2-2 on the season.
Vickers, one of just three returning position players from a year ago, has now hit safely in all four games. He also drove in the Cardinals' initial run in the first inning on a ground ball back to the pitcher.
Junior transfer Steven Tucker extended his hitting streak to four with two hits and had a pair of stolen bases. His bunt single with no outs in the second frame gave Lamar a 2-0 lead. Chris Dunkin scored from third on Tucker's bunt after leading off with a double and moving to third on a Keith Towne single.
MSU got its first run in the top of the third when Brandon Doherty and Brandon Eckerle each singled to right to put runners on first and second with two outs. Doherty scored when Kyle Day hit a grounder to the right side that Tucker threw wide of first to a covering Brian Sisk.
The Spartans tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth when Steve Gerstenberger doubled to right before moving to third on a wild pitch. He then scored on a double-play groundout. The Cardinals have now turned four double plays in the last three games.
MSU starter Mike Monterey (0-1) appeared to have settled into a govve after the first two innings by retiring 11 of the next 12 after Tucker's RBI bunt. Then his control seemed to elude him for the next three batters. He walked Brian Taylor on four pitches before surrendering Vickers' blast, then hit David Moore with a 1-0 pitch before getting Dunkin to ground out to end the inning.
Junior transfer Ricky Testa
(1-0) pitched three innings of scoreless relief with two strikeouts for his first win as a Cardinal. After allowing a one-out single and a walk in the eighth, he was replaced by senior closer Tim Erickson
. He promptly got two pop-outs to end the threat. Erickson then worked a scoreless ninth as he picked-off the only man that reached base against him. He earned his first save of the year.
Sisk received a no decision after striking out two in six innings while allowing two runs - one unearned.
Lamar will face Arkansas State (4-1) on Friday at 5 p.m. That game will be preceded by Kansas State-Michigan State at 1 p.m.