April 29, 2012
BEAUMONT - Junior Eric Harrington pitched a complete game shutout Sunday afternoon at Vincent-Beck Stadium to lead Lamar University to a 6-0 Southland Conference baseball victory over McNeese State.
Harrington tossed his fourth complete game of the season in holding the Cowboys to just five hits. The right hander needed just 107 pitches to improve to 3-6 on the year after striking out five and allowing just one walk.
"When the wind is blowing in here, you have to know how to pitch," said LU head coach Jim Gilligan. "Eric did a good job of doing that today. He kept the ball down and made a lot of good pitches."
The victory gave the Cardinals the series win as they also took the first game by a 4-1 count Friday night. Lamar is now 18-24 on the year and 10-14 in Southland Conference play. McNeese evened its SLC record at 12-12 while dropping to 18-23 on the season.
Harrington got plenty of run support Sunday as the Cardinals pounded out 12 hits to score their six runs. Seth Dornak, Jeff Abt and Garret Autrey each had two hits, while every other position player finished with at least one.
Lamar got on the board with a run in the first inning as Jude Vidrine led off the game with a single and would come around to score what would turn out to be the game winner on a two-out single to left field from Abt.
The Cardinals increased their lead to 3-0 after plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning. Third baseman Darian Johnson led off with a walk, followed by a Brad Picha single and an Abt bunt single to load the bases with no outs.
Autrey then grounded into a controversial double play as Abt was thrown out at second and Autrey was called out at first due to runner interference by Abt. The play scored Johnson, and Aaron Olivas
followed with a clutch RBI single to score Picha.
Lamar put up three more runs in the fifth inning to give Harrington a comfortable lead. The big hit was a two-run single from second baseman V.J. Bunner that scored Autrey and Abt. Vidrine drove in the final run of the game on a sacrifice fly to center field.
"We got timely hits all weekend," said Gilligan after his Cardinals finished the three-game series with 33 base hits. "Guys jumped up and delivered when we needed it. We have more depth in our lineup with Olivas and (Zach) Luevanos swinging hot bats."
McNeese State starter Michael Clemens (3-3) lasted just 2.2 innings in taking the loss. Clemens allowed three runs on five hits while walking four. Reliever Ryan Sampere fared no better as he gave up three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings.
Lamar will be back in action Friday as the Cardinals open a conference series at preseason favorite Texas State.