April 13, 2012
BEAUMONT - Right fielder Jake Arrington ripped a three-run double to the right field wall in the seventh inning to break open a 2-2 tie and propel No. 20 Sam Houston State to a 6-2 Southland Conference baseball win over Lamar University on Friday evening at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
The loss drops the Cardinals to 12-20 on the year and 5-11 in Southland play. The Bearkats extended their school record winning streak to 13 games to improve to 24-9 overall and a league best 14-2 in conference games. The middle game of the three-game series will be Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
After trailing 2-1 through five innings, Sam Houston tied the game with a run in the sixth to set up Arrington's big hit in the seventh. Left fielder Luke Plucheck got things going with a one out single to third. Anthony Azar, the Southland's leading hitter at .439, followed with a single to center field to put runners on the corners.
Lamar then removed starting pitcher Eric Harrington in favor of Jonathan Dziedzic who is working his way back from injury. Dziedzic got Ryan O'Hearn to strike out looking, but then walked Kevin Miller to load the bases. Arrington followed with the game winning hit on the first pitch he saw to clear the bases.
"This was a good ball game," said LU head coach Jim Gilligan. "They made all the plays and we made a couple of mistakes that cost us. That's the key to this team. We're good enough but we found a way to lose the game. That double with the bases loaded broke our neck.
"This would've been a real good win with the winning streak they're on. Instead, it's a big disappointment and we have to find a way to come back tomorrow."
Harrington would take the loss for the Cardinals to fall to 1-6 on the year. He allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Dziedzic worked just 0.2 innings before Ben Coram pitched the final 2.0 innings.
Lamar scored its first run in the bottom of the second inning to answer Sam Houston's run in the top of the inning. Second baseman V.J. Bunner
singled to center field with two outs to drive home Jeff Abt
with the first Cardinals' run and tie the game at 1-1.
Lamar took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth as Seth Dornak walked with two outs to get the rally started. Darian Johnson, who finished 3-for-5, then singled down the right field line to get Dornak to third. Brad Picha followed with a single to left that drove home Dornak and gave the Cards a momentary lead.
The Bearkats added an insurance run in the ninth inning off Coram. Third baseman Kevin Miller scored on an error by David Harris from second base after he had singled and stole second.
Caleb Smith started and took the win for the Bearkats to improve to 5-2 on the season. The sophomore left hander allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings with six strikeouts. Michael Oros and Michael Burchett held the Cards to just two hits over the final three innings.
Right fielder Jude Vidrine went 0-for-5 from the leadoff spot for the Cardinals to bring an end to his 11-game hitting streak.
Arrington, Azar, Miller and Colt Atwood each had two hits for the Bearkats.