April 10, 2012
HOUSTON - Lamar University made it interesting in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday night, but the Cardinals' rally came up just short in a 4-3 non-conference baseball loss to Houston at Cougar Field.
The loss drops the Cardinals to 12-19 on the year, while Houston improves to 12-18-1. Lamar will look to win its third straight Southland Conference series this weekend when league leader Sam Houston State visits Vincent-Beck Stadium for three games starting Friday evening at 6:30 p.m.
Trailing 4-2 heading into the top of the ninth, left fielder Jeff Abt led off the inning with a double off the right field wall, and moved to third on an infield single to second by designated hitter Seth Dornak. Catcher Zach Luevanos drove home Abt with a sacrifice fly to center field that pulled Lamar to within a run at 4-3.
However, UH reliever Mo Wiley got V.J. Bunner to strike out looking and Aaron Olivas to strike out swinging to end the game. Wiley, UH's third pitcher of the night, earned his fourth save of the season.
Lamar opened the game with a pair of runs in the first inning, and looked as though it would build on that lead in the second. Right fielder Jude Vidrine, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games, opened the game with a triple to the right center field gap and came home two batters later on a Darian Johnson sacrifice fly to center field. First baseman Brad Picha followed with a walk and a steal of second base. He would score on a two out single to center field from Abt to stake the Cardinals to a 2-0 lead through the first half inning of play.
The Cardinals then loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning to chase UH starter Aaron Garza from the game. Thomas Henk
, who started the inning with a single, was picked off third by UH catcher John Cannon and Vidrine followed with a double play ground out to quash the Cardinals' potential big inning.
"This was our game tonight and we let it get away," said LU head coach Jim Gilligan. "Henk getting picked off third was a killer because we could have built a big lead early in the game. We need to find a way to win these types of games."
Houston's second pitcher, Chase Wellbrock, worked the middle 7.0 innings for his second win of the season against one loss. Wellbrock allowed just five hits and no runs while striking out four.
Houston got on the board in the third inning off Lamar starter Andrew Beasley. Second baseman Landon Appling reached on a one out single and moved to third on a double down the right field line by Jacob Lueneburg. Appling would score on a Chase Jensen ground out to short.
The Cougars added a pair of runs in the fifth and one in the sixth which proved to be the game winner. Lamar's Machon Trimm, who took the loss to fall to 0-3, hit Appling with one out and then committed a balk to put Appling in scoring position.
Lueneburg singled and stole second to put a pair of UH runners in scoring position. Trimm, who allowed two runs on two hits in 1.1 innings of work was pulled after Lueneburg stole second.
Jensen then reached on a Picha error at first base that scored Appling and tied the game at 2-2. Lueneburg would score one batter later on a Codey Morehouse ground out.
UH extended its lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning. Price Jacobs led off the inning with a double to left and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Jonathan Davis. Jacobs would score the decisive run on a fly ball to right by Jake Runte.
Lamar outhit the Cougars 10-8, and four Cardinal pitchers combined for six strikeouts and no walks. Vidrine, Abt and Bunner all had two hits for the Cardinals.