March 26, 2005
LAKE CHARLES, La. - Junior William Delage provided Lamar with another good start as the Cardinals held off a late rally by McNeese State for a 7-4 win Saturday afternoon in Southland Conference action at Cowboy Diamond.
Lamar improved to 18-10 overall and 3-2 in the SLC. McNeese dropped to 10-17 and 1-4 in SLC play. The Cardinals will go for the series sweep today at 1 p.m.
Murray Gilbertson lined the first pitch of the game off McNeese starter Seth Lastrapes into the gap in left center field for a lead-off triple. He scored on a wild pitch to give Lamar a quick 1-0 lead. Adrian Cantu walked after Jo Jo Haney grounded out to third base. Then the sky opened up and the game was halted for a 30 minute rain delay.
McNeese State responded with a pair of runs in the home half of the first inning once the game resumed. Bryan Cartie led off the inning with a single and scored on Chris Fontenot's triple to right center field to tie the game. Charlie Kingery drove in Fontenot on a fielder's choice for a 2-1 lead.
Lamar plated two runs in both the third and fourth innings to take a 5-2 lead. Andrew Leal and Chase Richards hit back-to-back singles with one out. Jeremy Gray made it three in a row with a single up the middle to drive in Leal. C.J. Ebarb, who was 2-for-3, drove in Richards with the go-ahead run with a 2-out single to right field.
In the fourth, Murray Gilbertson, who was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, single to center field to lead off the inning. He moved advanced to second and scored on wild pitchers from Lastrapes. Adrian Cantu and Leal both walked and Richards drove in Cantu with a ground out to first base to put Lamar up 5-2.
The score remained 5-2 until the bottom of the seventh inning when the Cowboys scored a pair of runs to pull within one at 5-4. Thomas Zabasky led off the inning with a double to right center field, which was his second hit of the season. Chad Carnahan single to center field to put runners on the corners with one out. Cartie drove in Zabasky with a ground out to third base and Carnahan scored when right fielder Collin DeLome
dropped a fly ball down the right field line.
Lamar added a couple of insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning. Ebarb singled down the left field line and pinch-hitter Michael Ambort hit a 2-run home run to right field off reliever Danny Davis. Ambort hasn't started behind the plate for Lamar since March 12, when he bruised his knee in the second game of Lamar's doubleheader with Michigan.
Senior Scott Vander Weg pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season and in as many days. In fact, Saturday's game ended exactly the same way as Friday's with Vander Weg striking out Cartie looking for the final out.
Delage (2-2) pitched six and one-third inning, allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Trey Swor pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing no runs on one hits with three strikeouts.
Jo Jo Haney extending his season-high hitting streak to seven games with a bad hop single in the seventh inning. Lastrapes (3-5) allowed five runs on seven hits with five walks and two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings pitched to take the loss for the Cowboys.
Redshirt freshman Tim Erickson, who is 4-0 with a 2.31 earned run average, is expected to start for Lamar. Cartie, who played shortstop the first two games of the series, is McNeese's probable starter. He is 1-1 with a 6.19 ERA.