May 9, 2008
NATCHITOCHES, La. - Lamar scored four runs in the fourth inning and that was more than enough of a cushion for Brian Sisk as he struck out five in eight innings to lead the Cardinals past Northwestern State 9-2 at Brown-Stroud Field in the first game of their three-game Southland Conference series Friday.
Lamar (29-19, 17-8 Southland) scored four in the fourth and two each in the fifth and sixth innings as it opened up an 8-1 margin en route to extending its lead in the SLC East Division to 2.5 games with five to play.
Sisk (9-2) threw a season-high 122 pitches while scattering five hits and walking just one. Four of the hits were singles with his only mistake coming when he gave up a solo home run to Anthony Jones to lead off the fifth. But the senior then retired the next seven and nine of ten before leaving after eight full innings.
Lamar opened the scoring in the fourth with four runs on on three hits. After loading the bases on a bunt single, fielder's choice and a walk, Brian Taylor scored on David Moore's sac fly to left. Steven Tucker then scored from third on a double steal when Travis Dunson drew a throw when he broke from first to second. Jeff Vickers crushed his fourth home run of the season high into the pine trees in left to put the Cardinals up 4-0.
LU loaded the bases again an inning later thanks to a Logan Pace single and a pair of hit batters. Pace and Taylor came home when Travis Dunson hit a single back up the middle to make it 6-1. Two more runs scored in the sixth thanks to RBI singles from Pace and Taylor. Pace finished with three hits and two RBI - both of which tied his season-highs.
The Cards added an unearned run in the eighth when Jeremiah Sammy
reached on a error and scored on a double by Pace.
Northwestern State (25-24, 14-10 SLC) managed just five hits and only two base runners advanced past first base. Jimmy Heard (6-4) allowed six runs on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks for the Demons.
The teams will continue their series with game two on Saturday at 2 p.m.