April 20, 2012
THIBODAUX, La. - Eric Harrington pitched a complete game, and V.J. Bunner drove home the game winning run in the 10th inning, as Lamar University opened its three-game Southland Conference baseball series at Nicholls with a 5-4 win Friday evening.
Senior left fielder Jeff Abt, who extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 2-for-4 effort, scored from second base on Bunner's two-out double. Bunner was gunned down at third as he tried to stretch his hit into a triple, but the run scored first and held up as the game winner.
The two teams will continue the series Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. first pitch at Didier Field. The game will be shown tape delayed at 6 p.m. locally by Fox 4.
Lamar, which swept its three-game series against Nicholls last year, improved to 14-22 overall and 7-12 in Southland Conference play. Nicholls lost for the fifth straight time to fall to 18-19 on the year and into a tie with Lamar at 7-12 in the league.
Harrington worked all 10 innings for the Cardinals, recording his third complete game of the year to improve to 2-6. The junior right hander matched a career-high with 11 strikeouts, scattering nine hits and allowing four runs on 131 pitches.
The Cardinals struck first with a run in the top of the third to grab a 1-0 lead. Bunner led off with a single to center field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Olivas. After Jude Vidrine grounded out to the right side to advance Bunner to third, Garret Autrey came through with a two-out single to left to score Bunner. Autrey finished with two of Lamar's 11 hits in the game.
Lamar's second run came in the following inning as Abt drew a two-out walk and stole second to get into scoring position. Catcher Zach Luevanos, who finished 2-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in, delivered a single through the right side to make it a 2-0 game.
Luevanos drove in his second run in the top of the sixth inning to give the Cards a 3-0 lead. First baseman Brad Picha
led off the inning with a single and moved to second after Seth Dornak
was hit by a pitch. After Abt flew out, Luevanos singled to right to bring Picha home.
The Colonels finally got to Harrington in the bottom of the sixth inning as they would tie the game with three runs. Three straight singles by Philip Lyons, Jeremy Hill and Blake Bergeron to lead off the inning got the first Nicholls run on the board.
After Michael LeGrange was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs, Beau Faulk poked a single to right center to score another run. Harrington then got Austin Flores to ground into a double play, but Bergeron came home with the tying run.
The Colonels then took the lead in the seventh inning as center fielder Mike Barba hit his second home run of the year with one out. The solo shot over the left field fence gave NSU a 4-3 lead that would be short lived.
Dornak led off the eighth with a single and was taken out for pinch runner Joe Arechiga. Abt then singled to right, and both players moved up a base on a balk by reliever Brad Delatte. Bunner, who would become the hero two innings later, drove in the first of his two runs with a ground out to short that scored Arechiga and tied the game at four.
Nicholls got a solid pitching performance from starter Seth Webster who worked 7.0 innings and took a no decision. Webster allowed four runs on seven hits. Jordan McCoy, the Colonels' third pitcher of the game, took the loss to fall to 0-3 after allowing two hits and the game winning run in his one inning.
Lyons and Hill each had three of the Colonels' nine hits.