March 22, 2014
BEAUMONT – Ultimately, late Cardinal rallies weren’t enough on Saturday as the Lamar baseball team fell in both halves of a doubleheader vs. Southland foe Nicholls at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
With the losses, LU dropped to 14-11 on the year with a 1-5 conference mark. Nicholls improved to 5-1 and 13-12, respectively.
Chase Angelle starred in the first game, earning a sixth quality start in as many chances, which puts him in an exclusive club nationally. The Orange native threw 7.1 innings, allowing nine hits and three runs (two unearned).
LU looked to be in pretty good shape as the game wore on as both teams were struggling to cash in runs until the fifth when Mason Salazar led off the bottom half of the frame with a double to right. A Justin Eckols sacrifice bunt put him 90 feet from home, and Sam Bumpers followed up with a double down the right field line. Jude Vidrine singled to right in the ensuing at bat, but it was all the Cards could muster, taking a 2-0 lead.
Salazar was the only Card to tally multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-4, and the trio of Bumpers, Vidrine and Jacoby Middleton each picked up a hit, a score and a run batted in. As a team, LU was out-hit 12-6.
A throwing error in the sixth allowed the Colonels to pull back within one, but a three-run eighth gave the visitors from Thibodaux their first lead. Keith Cormier reached on an error to lead off the frame, and Justin Smith singled to put two on. A sac bunt put both in scoring position to Chase Angelle from the mound. Danny Fernandez came on in relief and a pair of walks and a single allowed all three runs to score.
However, a Middleton triple and a Marc Picciola wild pitch led to pair of scores in the bottom half of the frame to tie the game back up at 4-4.
Unfortunately for LU, however, Fernandez gave up a single and a walk with two outs in the ninth before being replaced by Lance Warren. Charles Morton took advantage of the opening, lacing a double to center to seal the win for Nicholls.
Nicholls kicked off the second game of the day with a Marc Frazier three-run blast in the first and they would add another in the sixth before back-to-back doubles by Reed Seeley and Salazar pulled one back for the Red and White.
However, the Colonels pushed four more across in the seventh and eighth to take a commanding 8-1 lead into the game’s final inning.
Once again, Eckols looked to play the role of sparkplug, leading off the frame with a double, and a Bumpers single and Vidrine walk loaded the bases. Middleton singled up the middle for the first score, and Kyle Markum brought another home with a one-out single through the right side. Seeley picked up his fourth hit of the game with a single to left center to score two more, and a two-out Jake Sutton single brought the tying run to the plate. However, Eckols was unable to keep it going this time around, striking out to end the game.
Seeley ended 4-for-5, and Eckols was one of five Cards to pick up a pair of hits as the Cards out-hit Nicholls 16-11.
On the mound, J.T. Autrey was pegged with the loss to fall to 2-1 on the year. The Stephenville product was one of five pitchers to see action in the game, and he ended with six hits and three runs allowed over four innings of work.
The Cards will return to action on Wednesday with a game at Rice.