March 2, 2012
WACO, Texas -
Lamar University's losing streak reached five games Friday afternoon in a 17-0 downfall to UC Irvine in the opening game of the 2012 Baylor Classic.
The loss was Lamar's first by shutout this season and first since a 5-0 setback to Stephen F. Austin on May 20 last spring.
The Anteaters, who improved to 5-3 on the season, pounded out 20 hits against six Cardinal pitchers, while the Cardinals, now 2-5, managed only four.
Kyle Hooper, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound junior right-hander from Saugus, Calif., went the distance, striking out 10 batters and walking only one in improving his record to 2-0.
First baseman Jordan Fox led the Anteaters' hit parade by going 4-for-7 and driving in a whopping six runs. He improved his team-leading batting average to .484 going into UC Irvine's second-round matchup Saturday against 25th-ranked Baylor.
Shortstop D.J. Crumlich and designated hitter Connor Spencer had three hits each for the Anteaters, and center fielder Christian Ramirez went 2-for-5 and drove in four runs.
Right fielder Jude Vidrine had two of the Cardinals' hits, while third baseman Darian Johnson and left fielder Jeff Abt had one each.
The Anteaters put Lamar starter and loser Eric Harrington in a hole early by pushing across one run in the second inning and two in the third. Spencer and Kris Paulino opened UCI's second inning with back-to-back singles, and Ronnie Shaeffer plated the game's first run with an infield groundout.
Fox's double down the right-field line drove in UCI's first run of the third inning, and the second came in on Spencer's single to right field.
The Anteaters batted around in their four-run fourth inning that increased their lead to 7-0. Their biggest hits were an RBI double by Taylor Sparks, and RBI singles by Crumlich, Fox and Spencer.
Harrington exited after four innings having yielded seven runs on 11 hits in falling to 0-2 on the season.
Stephen Seger replaced Harrington on the mound in the fifth inning, but he retired only one batter before having to give way to Cody Laird. By the time the top of the inning ended, the Anteaters had added five runs to their by then insurmountable lead.
The Cardinals will meet 25th-ranked Baylor at 2 p.m. Saturday in their second-round game, and they will conclude the three-day tournament with Sunday games against UC Irvine at 11 a.m. and Baylor at 3 p.m.