March 13, 2012
BEAUMONT, Texas -
Garret Autrey didn't waste any time in becoming a hero for the Lamar University baseball team Tuesday night.
Autrey hammered the first pitch he saw from Michael Schulle in the bottom of the ninth inning over the right-field wall to lift the Cardinals to a 6-5 win over visiting Houston Baptist in a non-conference game at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
It was the team-leading home third homer of the season for Autrey, who was slated to get the night off after starting Lamar's first 14 games of the season. Autrey came in as a defensive replacement in center field late in the game, but it was his bat that did the damage.
"What a great kid," Lamar coach Jim Gilligan said of Autrey. "He works hard, he hustles, he does everything we ask of him."
Thomas Henk had three hits for Lamar (5-10), which snapped a four-game skid. Joe Arechiga added two hits for the Cardinals.
Jeff Abt (1-0), who started the game in left field, picked up the win in relief despite blowing the save by allowing a run in the top of the ninth inning.
Bradley Brown, Curtis Jones and Jake Gonzalez had two hits apiece for Houston Baptist (4-11), which has lost five straight.
Lamar doesn't have much time to savor the victory. The Cardinals host Texas Southern in a non-conference game at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are available for a special price of $1 at the stadium ticket booths before the game.