March 4, 2011
BEAUMONT - Senior Wade Mathis pounded out three hits on Friday night at Vincent-Beck Stadium, including his second home run of the season, as the Lamar University baseball team rebounded from a Thursday loss to San Francisco to pound Cal State-Northridge 14-1 on day two of the YMBL/Cardinal Classic.
The Cardinals improved to 7-5 on the season, while the Matadors fell to 5-5. Lamar will continue play on Saturday afternoon at 3 against New Mexico State. The Aggies (9-1), who will take on San Francisco in the first game of the day at 11 a.m., fell to San Francisco on Thursday by a 12-1 score.
Lamar's hitters gave starting pitcher Eric Harrington an early lead as they posted three runs in the first inning. The big hit in the inning was a two-out single to left field off the bat of Cameron Johnson that drove in a pair of runs.
That was more than enough offense for the junior right hander from Groves who went seven strong innings. Harrington allowed just four hits and one run while striking out three to improve to 2-0 on the year and drop his earned run average to 3.20.
"It was good to see Harrington throw over 100 pitches," said LU head coach Jim Gilligan. "He needed to go deep into a game as we get ready for the conference."
Lamar built onto its lead in the third inning with a pair of runs that made it 5-0. Kevin Roebuck led off with a walk and moved to third on a single by Mathis. Joey Latulippe drove Roebuck home with a sacrifice bunt, and reached on an error by starting pitcher Vincent Roberts. Mathis would score two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Pablo Salinas.
"It was good to get the three runs in the first inning," said Gilligan. "It was important to build off of that, and we did. Some of our struggles had been technique. It's something the guys have been working hard at the last few days."
The Matadors finally broke through in the fifth inning on a bases loaded walk given up to Drew Muren. Harrington would get out of the jam to limit Cal State-Northridge to its only run of the game.
After scoring one in the sixth, the Cardinals exploded for five runs in the seventh. The first seven LU batters reached base in the inning, causing the Matadors to use three different relievers in that inning alone.
Lamar tacked on three more runs in the eighth to close out the scoring. The big blast was a leadoff home run by Mathis over the right field wall. Three batters later, second baseman Andy Mena smacked a two-run double into left center that went all the way to the wall and plated Salinas and Cameron Campbell.
Latulippe finished with just one hit on the day, but drove in three runs. Mena added three RBI, as well, while nine different Cardinals had at least one of LU's 13 hits.
Tommy Roebuck pitched a scoreless eighth for Lamar before John Gilligan closed it out in the ninth. Gilligan struck out a pair of Matadors in closing out the game.
Roberts (0-3) took the loss for Cal State-Northridge, pitching 5.2 innings and allowing six runs on five hits. Five of the runs were earned, and Roberts also walked four batters while striking out six.
Catcher Marty Bowen and second baseman T.S. Reed each had two hits for the Matadors.