May 13, 2012
BEAUMONT - Lamar University pounded out 17 hits Sunday afternoon at Vincent-Beck Stadium on its way to a convincing 9-1 Southland Conference baseball victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Cardinals are fighting for one of the eight spots in the Southland Conference Tournament, but will likely need a sweep in the final series at UTSA next weekend. At 12-18 in SLC play, the Cardinals (20-29 overall) will also need some help to ensure a spot in the tournament.
Lamar got on the board right at the start, putting up three runs in the first inning and two more in the second to open up a 5-0 lead on the Islanders (23-28 overall, 14-16 in the Southland). While Lamar managed 19 hits over the first two games of the series, it was the timeliness of the hits Sunday that made the difference.
"I was very happy with the way we played today in all areas of the game," said LU head coach Jim Gilligan. "We got timely hits when we needed them and that was the difference between today's game and the first two in the series when we lost."
The Cards were able to break through in the first inning after the first two batters got out. Third baseman Darian Johnson got things going with a double and scored the first run of the game on a Brad Picha single. Garret Autrey, who joined Picha with three hits on the day, then singled to put runners on the corners.
Senior Jeff Abt, playing in the final home game of his career, was hit by an Adam Hoelscher pitch to load the bases. Catcher Zach Luevanos came through with a run scoring single to center field that plated two more Cardinal runs.
The second inning was more of the same as Lamar was able to score twice with two outs. Designated hitter Seth Dornak mashed his second home run of the year over the left center field wall, and Autrey added a RBI single to score the fifth run of the game.
Hoelscher wouldn't make it out of the second inning as he took the loss to fall to 6-6. The left hander gave up five runs on eight hits in just 1.2 innings. He was one of six Islander pitchers to take the mound Sunday.
Lamar got a solid pitching performance from junior Carter Hahn who improved to 3-3 on the year after working seven innings of shutout baseball. Hahn scattered eight hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Andrew Beasley pitched the final two innings for the Cards.
"Carter did a great job today on the mound and gave us a solid outing and a chance to win today," said Gilligan of his starting pitcher.
Picha added a RBI single in the fourth inning to score Jude Vidrine and give the Cards a 6-0 lead. Dornak then drove in a run in the fifth inning as he singled to second base to drive home Luevanos.
The Cardinals added two more runs in the sixth inning with second baseman David Harris doubling off the wall to score Autrey and Luevanos. Harris had two doubles on the day, while Johnson added one for the Cardinals.
The Islanders finally got on the board in the ninth inning. After getting the first two batters out, Beasley gave up singles to Dan Sciantarelli and Omar Garcia. Left fielder Jordan Lee, who finished 4-for-5, would drive in the Islanders' only run with a single to center field. Beasley got Eric Weiss to ground out to short to end the game.
Seven different Cardinals had at least two hits in the game, and five players drove in a run.