April 27, 2013
BEAUMONT - Third baseman Aaron Olivas drove in a pair of runs, and starter Eric Harrington held the Stephen F. Austin offense in check, as Lamar University locked up a series win over the Lumberjacks with a 4-1 Southland Conference baseball victory Saturday afternoon at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
Lamar (32-11), which moved into first place in the Southland Conference standings with an 11-6 league mark, will look for the series sweep Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Junior lefty Lance Warren (1-1, 2.20 earned run average) is scheduled to take the mound for the Cardinals who won the opening game 4-3 in 11 innings Friday night.
"It was quite an effort by Harrington to shut them down for seven innings because I think they're one of the top hitting teams we've faced all season," said LU head coach Jim Gilligan. "We put it together well. A couple of stolen bases followed up by base hits. Everything worked in our favor today."
The Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a pair of two-out runs. Seth Dornak, who finished with two of Lamar's 10 hits on the day, was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to second on a Garret Autrey ground ball.
Olivas then singled up the middle to plate the Cardinals first run. The senior from El Paso moved to second on a wild pitch and came home as catcher Zach Luevanos delivered with a single to left field.
Lamar would extend its lead to 3-0 in the seventh inning as it was once again able to manufacture a two-out run. Jude Vidrine walked and stole second to get into scoring position. Following a Darian Johnson walk, Brad Picha singled back up the middle to score Vidrine.
The Lumberjacks (23-20 overall, 10-7 in the Southland) finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning. Third baseman Zach Benson doubled to left center with one out and moved to third base on a Hunter Dozier single. Freddy Villalobos then singled to third base to score Benson and chase Harrington from the game.
Travis Moore came in with two runners on, and after giving up a single to Ricardo Sanchez that loaded the bases, got Max Lamantia to pop up to short and Mackenzie Handel to fly out to center field to get out of the jam.
The Cardinals answered with an insurance run in the bottom half of the eighth inning as Olivas, who finished with two hits on the day, singled home Autrey for an insurance run. Picha also had a pair of hits for the Cardinals on Saturday.
Harrington scattered 10 hits over 7.1 innings of work to earn the win and improve to 7-1 on the season. The redshirt senior, who lowered his ERA to a sparkling 2.38, struck out four and walked just one as he took advantage of strong defense behind him.
"I usually like to stick with the fastball but today I had to set them up for it because they're a great fastball hitting team," said Harrington about his performance. "We had some big double plays behind me. That's huge, and scoring some runs early and then adding some runs late is always huge."
Moore worked the final 1.2 innings to earn his second save of the season. The freshman out of Pearland allowed two hits and struck out two.
Kyle Cross started and took the loss for the Lumberjacks after allowing 10 hits and four earned runs over 7.1 innings. Cross struck out four Cardinals and walked two as his offense left 10 men on base in producing just a single run.