March 19, 2013
BEAUMONT - The line-up took care of business on Tuesday night at Vincent-Beck Stadium as the Cardinals improved to 19-3 on the season with an 8-6 victory over visiting Houston Baptist.
With the win, the Cardinals have now taken home 15 of the last 16 games. Houston Baptist dropped to 6-10-1.
Each of the top four hitters in the line-up registered multiple hits, led by three-hit outings from both Jude Vidrine and Darian Johnson. Vidrine ended 3-for-4 with a pair of runs, and Johnson was 3-for-5 with two scores as well.
"I had a rough couple games over at Pan-Am last weekend," Vidrine said. "I felt like I had to come out and be aggressive. I took a lot of pitches that I could've hit over there, so tonight, I tried to go after it a little more."
V.J. Bunner had Brad Picha each had two-hit days. Seth Dornak, the five-hole hitter, went just 1-for-4, but made up for it with four runs batted in, and as a team, the Cards out-hit the Huskies 16-12.
"Our line-up did pretty well tonight," head coach Jim Gilligan said. "We loaded the bases a couple times early, but we couldn't get the hit, and we have to get better about that. We haven't opened up some of the games that we could have this year, but in this game, the same guys came back up later in the game and got the big hit. I have to tip my hat to them."
David Carver got the nod on the mound, and tossed four innings. The junior southpaw gave up two earned runs on three hits and struck out four to improve to 4-1 on the season.
Lamar opened up the game's scoring in the first. Consecutive singles by Bunner, Vidrine and Johnson loaded the bases to lead off the frame. However, the only offense that the Cards could muster was from a Dornak sacrifice fly.
HBU answered in the ensuing frame as Samm Wiggins tripled and later scored on a Carver wild pitch to bring the Cards' consecutive scoreless innings streak to an end at 19.2.
The Huskies added another score in the fourth after loading the bases without recording an out. Mike Chamberlain brought the run across with a fielder's choice, but Carver was able to avert any more damage, inducing a fly ball out by Curtis Jones and striking out Christian Cokinos.
The HBU lead would be short-lived as Lamar broke through for a five-run frame in the second half of the inning. After Bumpers led off with a single, he moved to third on a wild throw from center on a Garret Autrey fly out. Brandon Provost hit into a fielder's choice to bring the equalizer home, but that was only the beginning for the Cards.
Bunner earned a two-out walk, and both Vidrine and Johnson followed up with singles to hand the lead back to Lamar. It looked as if the Huskies would get out of the frame, but a dropped foul ball by shortstop C.J. Jarvis kept the inning alive. Picha pounced on the second opportunity, singling to left to double the advantage, and Dornak came through once more with a double to put LU up 6-2.
"We don't really panic when we get down," Vidrine said of the comeback. "That's been the story of the season so far. Tonight was a good example of that. We got a little bit going there in the fourth, especially with two outs. V.J. walks, I get a two out hit, and then the rest of the line-up did what it was supposed to do and drove in the runs."
The Cards tacked on two more with a Picha double and Dornak fielder's choice in the sixth.
The Huskies struck for four scores off of Cardinal relievers Chase Angelle, Ben Coram and Hunter Perry over the final three innings, but Travis Moore was able to close the door with a fly out and strike out to pick up his first career save.
Lamar and Houston Baptist will square off once more on Wednesday at Vincent-Beck Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.