March 9, 2012
CONWAY, Ark. - Central Arkansas' Jeffery Enloe edged Lamar University's Jonathan Dziedzic in a pitcher's duel Friday afternoon as the Cardinals lost their 2012 Southland Conference opener 2-0 to the Bears.
A 6-foot-5, 215-pound left-hander from Gonzales, La., Enloe went the distance to improve his record to 2-1 and lower his earned run average to 1.95. He scattered four hits, struck out eight batters and walked three.
Dziedzic, a junior left-hander from Humble Atascocita, was touched for his first earned run of the season to break up a scoreless battle when Bear centerfielder Jonathan Davis hit an RBI double to right field. A second run crossed the plate on the play, but it was unearned, due to a throwing error by Cardinal right fielder Jude Vidrine.
Friday's second game featured two more pitching gems as Lamar's Eric Harrington and UCA's Caleb McClanahan went toe-to-toe for 10 scoreless innings each. Harrington yielded five hits and struck nine in his no decision, while McClanahan limited the Cardinals to four hits and struck out 12.
The scoreless struggle came to an end in the 12th inning when the Bears made a hardluck loser of Cardinal relief pitcher John Gilligan.
With one out, Gilligan struck Jonathan Davis with a pitch, and the Bear centerfielder promptly stole second base. With left-hand hitting outfielder Ethan Harris coming to the plate, Cardinal coach summoned southpaw reliever Machon Trimm from the bullpen.
Harris defied the statistical odds by driving a single into the gap in left centerfield to drive in Davis with the game's only run, enabling the Bears to even their record at 6-6.
The losses by shutout by the 4-9 Cardinals were their second and third within an eight-day span. The Cardinals went three-up and three-down nine times in the game.
Darian Johnson's seventh-inning single to centerfield was Lamar first hit off McClanahan in the second game, but the Cardinal third baseman was promptly erased from the basepaths on a 6-4-3 double play.
David Harris and Zach Luevanos put together back-to-back singles in the eighth inning, and Seth Dornak drew a walk to load the bases, but Vidrine struck out to end the threat.
First baseman Brad Picha had the Cardinals' other two hits - a single to lead off the 10th inning and a one-out double to left field in the 12th.
Leftfielder Jeff Abt got Lamar's first hit off Enloe in the opener when he singled to right field in the third inning. Enloe then retired 11-straight batters before second baseman David Harris led off the seventh with a double to right field, but he was erased at third base attempting to stretch the hit into a triple.
Pinch-hitter Cameron Campbell also doubled for the Cardinals, but Enloe responded by striking out Vidrine and retiring Johnson on a flyball to right field to end the eighth.
The Cardinals' final hit was Dornak's one-out single to left field in the ninth inning. UCA outfielder Ethan Harris was the only player to collect two hits in the game.
Weather permitting, the teams will complete the three-game series Saturday with a 1 p.m. game, also in Conway.