Big hits lead to 6-4 win over Southeastern La.
March 31, 2012
BEAUMONT - Junior shortstop Aaron Olivas hit a fourth inning inside the park grand slam to give the Cardinals the lead, and Garret Autrey added a two-run single an inning later, to lead the Cardinals to a 6-4 Southland Conference win over Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday afternoon at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
With the Cardinals trailing 2-0, Olivas stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. Olivas hit a ball to left center that got through Lion center fielder Harry Slade and rolled all the way to the wall. Olivas scampered all the way around to follow his three teammates home and give Lamar a 4-2 lead.
After SLU cut into the lead with a run in the top of the fifth inning, Lamar added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the inning. Seth Dornak led off with a single and Brad Picha walked with one out to put runners on first and second. Jeff Abt, who finished with a pair of hits, then singled to short to load the bases.
After pinch hitter Zach Luevanos struck out, Autrey stepped to the plate with two outs. As Olivas had done one inning earlier, Autrey came through in the clutch with a single to right center that plated two runs and gave the Cards a 6-3 lead.
"We got two really big hits today and that was the difference in the game," said LU head coach Jim Gilligan. "Olivas and Autrey both came up big when we needed them."
Lamar snapped a five-game losing streak to improve to 9-17 overall and 2-9 in Southland play. The Cardinals and Lions (20-8 overall, 7-4 in the SLC) will play the tiebreaker Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. from Vincent-Beck Stadium.
Three Lamar pitchers combined for the win despite the fact that SLU finished with twice as many hits as the Cardinals (14-7). Collin Chapman started and worked three innings, allowing two runs on six hits with three strikeouts.
John Gilligan got the win for Lamar in relief to even his record at 2-2 on the year. Gilligan worked 1.2 innings, giving up just the single SLU run in the fifth on five hits. Machon Trimm earned his first save of the season by working the final 4.1 innings. Trimm allowed just four hits and one earned run.
"Trimm did a great job along with John and Collin," said Gilligan. "Their combined effort was enough for us to get the win and that was one we really needed."
The Lions opened the scoring in the third inning with a pair of runs off Chapman. Brock Hebert, who was 3-for-5 in the game, hit an RBI triple that drove in Michael Rutland and got the Lions on the board. Jonathan Pace, who also had three hits, drove Hebert home with a single past short.
SLU's final run came in the ninth inning as the Lions looked like they had a chance for a big inning. The first three batters reached base, but SLU would only score one run as Jacob Fisher singled home a run with two outs. Trimm got pinch hitter Sam Roberson to fly out to center field to end the game.
Lion starter Jordan Hymel took the loss after giving up four runs in four innings of work. Hymel (4-2) entered the game with a 1.80 earned run average, but that number jumped to 3.00 after his struggles Saturday. Reliever Joseph Koon surrendered the other two runs in the game.
Dornak match Abt with two hits for the Cardinals, raising his batting average to a team-leading .311.