April 5, 2012
NACOGDOCHES - Lamar University pounded out 14 hits, and junior Eric Harrington pitched a complete game, as the Cardinals opened their three-game Southland Conference baseball series against Stephen F. Austin with a 7-4 win Thursday afternoon at Jaycees Field.
Lamar has now won three straight games for the first time this season in improving to 11-17 overall and 4-9 in conference play. It is also the Cardinals' first conference road win in seven tries. The two teams will meet Friday afternoon at 2 before closing the series Saturday at 1 p.m.
Harrington threw his second straight complete game to pick up his first win of the season. The right hander was a hard luck loser last weekend against Southeastern Louisiana in a 2-1 loss, but improved to 1-5 after allowing four runs (three earned) on 10 hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.
The Cardinals jumped on top in the second inning, scoring four runs on three hits. Catcher Thomas Henk led off with a double and came home one batter later on a RBI single from center field Garret Autrey.
After David Harris was hit by a Cameron Gann pitch, Aaron Olivas walked to load the bases with no outs. Jude Vidrine reached on a fielder's choice to drive home Autrey and put the Cardinals up 2-0. Seth Dornak hit a sacrifice fly to left that drove in Harris, and Vidrine scored with two outs on a clutch RBI double from third baseman Darian Johnson.
The Lumberjacks (12-17 overall, 5-8 in the Southland) chipped away at Lamar's lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second, but the Cardinals answered with two runs in the fourth to build a 6-2 lead. SFA first baseman Bobby Loveless got his team on the board with a two-run home run over the left field fence.
Olivas led off the fourth inning with a double that chased Gann from the game in favor of Justin Choate. Gann would take his first loss of the season to fall to 3-1 after allowing five earned runs on six hits in 3.0 innings of work.
Vidrine, who singled off Choate to put runners on the corners, moved to second on a wild pitch. After Dornak grounded out, Johnson drove in Olivas with a sacrifice fly. Vidrine would come home one batter later on a single by first baseman Brad Picha.
Harrington yielded his second home run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, a solo shot by catcher Jarid Scarafiotti that made it a 6-3 game.
Lamar tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth inning. With two outs, Vidrine doubled to left center, and came home on a Dornak single to center field to put the Cards ahead 7-3.
SFA added a run in the bottom of the ninth, a two-out home run from pinch hitter Fola Lajide. After Loveless followed with a double to left center, Harrington got Bryce Cummings to fly out to left field to end the game.
Vidrine, Dornak, Johnson, Harris and Jeff Abt each finished with two hits for Lamar, while Dornak and Johnson drove in two runs apiece. Vidrine scored three of Lamar's seven runs from the leadoff spot in the batting order.
The Lumberjacks, who finished with 10 hits of their own, got two hits from Scarafiotti, Loveless and Freddy Villalobos.