May 11, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI – After Texas A&M-Corpus Christi drilled a game-tying grand slam in the seventh on Saturday evening, the Lamar baseball team counterpunched with a four-run frame of their own in the eighth, going on to win 10-7 at Chapman Field.
Brandon Provost, who entered Saturday’s game with just nine runs batted in for the year, played the role of hero in the eighth, lacing a two-out single through the left side of the infield to push across the go-ahead run, and singles by Aaron Olivas as well as Sam Bumpers added another score. Darian Johnson effectively put the game out of reach moments later with a double to right center to bring two more home.
Provost ended the night 2-for-5 with two scores and two RBI. Johnson and Olivas combined to go 5-for-10 with three runs, knocking in five.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 34-16 overall, but perhaps more importantly, 13-10 in Southland play, clinching a spot in the conference tournament later this month. The Islanders dropped to 29-21 and 14-9, respectively.
After giving up the opening tally in the third, the Cards evened things up on a Seth Dornak sacrifice fly in the fourth. The deadlock was short-lived, however, as Brad Porras deposited the first pitch of the bottom half of the inning over the wall in left.
Lamar, which saw a rally start too late a night ago, didn’t waste any time on Saturday, striking for three in the fifth to take its first lead of the series. Garret Autrey led off the frame with a single and later scored on a Provost single. Hits by Olivas and Johnson later in the frame plated two more to put LU up 4-2.
Autrey ended the day 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
Meanwhile, after LU starting pitcher Will Hibbs rebounded from the Porras homer to sit the next three batters down in order, he wasn’t as fortunate in the fifth, putting two on before leaving the mound without recording an out. The Friendswood native was making his first career start and ended with two earned runs on five hits over four innings of work.
Chase Angelle made the trot from the bullpen to put out the fire, holding the Islanders at bay until Jonathan Gonzales connected for the grand slam the seventh. The sophomore was credited with the victory, improving to 3-2 on the year.
A costly two-out error by second baseman Cody Stephens allowed both Jude Vidrine and Autrey to score in the sixth, and the Islanders went on to homer in the ninth before LU reliever Ben Coram shut the door on the attempted rally.
Both teams will return to Chapman Field to decide the series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.