April 23, 2010
BEAUMONT - Lamar University's baseball team ran its winning streak to a season-long six games by defeating UTSA 4-2 in a most meaningful Southland Conference encounter Friday night.
And for the third-consecutive time this week, the Cardinals did it in come-from-behind fashion.
After trailing by 2-1 in the sixth inning, the Cardinals scored the game's final three runs - one each in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. They also benefitted from a sharp starting performance from right-hander Matison Smith and a strong relief effort by Garrett Steward.
The Cardinals scored the tying run in the sixth inning when outfielder Ted Zentek drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs. They snapped the tie an inning later when a hard-hit, bases-loaded grounder back to the mound by Kevin Roebuck deflected off UTSA relief pitcher Taylor Walton's glove, enabling Andy Mena to score from third base.
The Cardinals added an insurance run in the eighth inning on a walk to Zentek, consecutive bunt hits by Joey Latulippe and Aaron Buchanan and a sacrifice fly by Quentin Luquette.
In improving his team-best record to 7-1, Smith threw 115 pitches (74 for strikes) over seven-plus innings. The senior from Nederland gave up seven hits, struck six and walked two.
Steward, a junior right-hander from La Porte, relieved Smith after he walked Roadrunner outfielder Ryan Rummel to lead off the eighth inning. Steward yielded one hit, struck out three and walked one in earning his second save of the season.
Mena went 3-for-5 for the Cardinals, while Buchanan and Roebuck both went 2-for-4.
The victory improved the Cardinals to 25-15 on the season and to 10-9 in the SLC. The Roadrunners fell to 13-22 and 4-15, respectively. The teams will play Game 2 of the three-game series Saturday, starting at 2 p.m.