Cardinals drop series opener to UT Arlington
March 16, 2012
BEAUMONT, Texas - Lamar University's baseball team committed three errors that led to four unearned runs in the Cardinals' 7-5 loss to UT Arlington Friday night before a crowd of 745 in Vincent-Beck Stadium.
Lamar starting pitcher Jonathan Dziedzic threw 31 pitches and yielded two runs in the first inning, and Cardinal coach Jim Gilligan replaced him with Shane Hamaker in the second. Three more pitchers followed Hamaker, who fell to 1-3 with the loss, leaving the bullpen as a potential problem area in the final two games of this important Southland Conference series.
"Eighty percent of our team did a great job tonight, but we can't continue to make the defensive mistakes we've been making," said Gilligan, who saw his team fall to 6-11 overall and 0-4 in the SLC despite outhitting the Mavericks 14-9. "We've been having guys not covering the proper bases in bunting situations, and it's been costing us.
"We're going to need a strong start from Eric (Harrington, the Cardinals' Game 2 starter Saturday), and some of the guys who pitched tonight are going to have to be able to give me some quality innings on Sunday."
The Cardinals followed the Mavericks' two-run first with three runs in the bottom of the inning, but they failed to hold onto the lead. The Mavericks, who improved to 12-7 on the season and 2-2 in the league, regained the lead with a thee-run fourth inning, and they added two more in the eighth.
The Cardinals put up single runs in the seventh and eighth innings, but they left eight runners on base, including two in the first and two more in the eighth.
Maverick starter Collin Reynolds survived a 40-pitch first inning and went on to go 6 2/3 innings to earn his third victory in as many decisions. The senior right-hander threw 74 of his 109 pitches for strikes.
Senior left-hander Adam Westbrook pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his first save of the season.
The Cardinals and Mavericks will resume their three-game series Saturday with a 2 p.m. game in Vincent-Beck Stadium. The series finale is set for Sunday at 1 p.m.