March 13, 2013
BEAUMONT – A number of hitters have been important over the course of Lamar’s winning streak, and Wednesday was no different as both Seth Dornak and Darian Johnson had strong outings to lead the Cardinals to an 8-1 victory over visiting Texas Southern at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
Lamar has now won 12 consecutive games, the longest winning streak since 1980, and with a 16-2 record, the team is off to its best start since 1977.
Dornak made his impact with clutch hitting. The senior out of Pearland gave Lamar a 2-0 lead in the second with a two-out double, and he added yet another two-out two-bagger for a pair of scores in the sixth to create some breathing room for the LU pitching staff. He ended the night 2-for-4 with four runs batted in, the most by a Card hitter since Johnson knocked in five vs. Northern Kentucky last month.
Johnson was no slouch at the plate either on Wednesday, going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. He also collected a pair of triples, marking the second time the senior has accomplished the feat after he did so vs. UTSA at the end of last season.
David Carver picked up his third straight win of the year with a five-inning outing on the mound, allowing four hits and a run. He is now 3-1 on the season.
An Aaron Olivas walk and Sam Bumpers two-out single in the second inning set the stage for Dornak’s first double, but the Tigers were able to respond in the ensuing frame with a Chris DeLeon score to cut the lead in half.
The Cards were able to ward off the Tigers over the next few frames until the visitors from Houston attempted a two-out rally of their own in the sixth. After LU reliever Will Hibbs sat down the first TSU hitters in order, a pair of infield singles and an error loaded the bases for DeLeon, who flailed at a 3-2 pitch to end the threat.
Johnson responded the bottom of the frame with a lead-off triple, and he later scored on an Olivas single through the right side. Dornak picked up where Johnson left off, closing out the frame with his second double to put Lamar up 5-1 after six.
TSU loaded the bases once more in the seventh to chase Hibbs from the mound, but Lance Warren made the most out of the situation, picking up a strike out and inducing an inning-ending ground ball.
LU kept it going in the bottom half, loading the bases for an Olivas sac fly and a Garret Autrey two-run double to account for the game’s final score.
Olivas finished the night 1-for-2 with two runs and two RBI. Autrey was 1-for-4.
TSU dropped to 10-9 on the year, and starter Denzel Pipkin was saddled with the loss, moving him to 0-2.
Lamar will now look to take its unbeaten streak on the road as the Cards head out for their first weekend series of the year at UTPA. First pitch on Friday night is slated for 7 p.m.