April 22, 2012
THIBODAUX, La. - Lamar's offense posted season highs in hits and runs Sunday at Didier Field, leading the Cardinals to a 12-4 series clinching win over Nicholls in a Southland Conference baseball game.
After splitting the first two games in the series, the Cardinals now own the tiebreaker over Nicholls by improving to 15-23 overall and 8-13 in the SLC. NSU drops to 19-20 on the year and also 8-13 in league play. The Cards will return home Tuesday to host Prairie View A&M at 6:30 p.m.
Lamar exploded for 10 runs in the top of the first inning in support of starting pitcher Jonathan Dziedzic. With Seth Dornak, Darian Johnson and Brad Picha all on base with just one out, centerfielder Garret Autrey hit an inside the park grand slam to stake the Cardinals to a 4-0 lead.
Jeff Abt, who was the only position player not to get a base knock to end his 10-game hitting streak, then drew a walk to force Nicholls starter Mike Wisecarver from the game. Wisecarver (1-6) took the loss after allowing five earned runs on two hits while managing to record just one out.
Michael Suk then took the mound for the Colonels, but with equally poor results. After Abt stole second, catcher Tommy Henk singled to left to put runners on the corners. V.J. Bunner then drove in Abt with a bunt single.
After Aaron Olivas was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Jude Vidrine delivered a two-run single up the middle to give the Cards a 7-0 lead. Dornak, who joined Vidrine with three hits each, then doubled to center to drive in Olivas. Johnson delivered a run-scoring single and Picha added a sacrifice fly to close out the Cardinals' scoring.
Lamar also got a strong pitching performance from junior left hander Jonathan Dziedzic
(3-2) who won for the first time since March 3 at Baylor. The former Atascocita High School standout allowed four runs on six hits with nine strikeouts over 7.0 innings. Andrew Beasley
surrendered just one hit over the final two innings to close out the win.
Dornak drove in one of his three runs in the second inning on a RBI single to second that scored Olivas and gave the Cards an 11-0 lead.
Nicholls put up a pair of runs in the second inning and two more in the fifth. The first two came on a two-run double from shortstop Austin Flores in the second, and Jeremy Hill hit a two-run home run in the fifth to account for the other two NSU runs.
Lamar's final run came in the fourth as Dornak delivered his third RBI with a single up the middle that scored Henk.
The 16 hits by the Cardinals established a new season high, breaking the 15 Lamar managed against Arkansas State (Feb. 19) and at No. 25 Baylor (March 3).
Six different Cardinals drove in a run, led by Autrey with four RBI. Olivas, Picha and Autrey each had two hits to join Vidrine and Dornak with multi-hit performances.