May 18, 2006
BEAUMONT - Lamar University's ninth inning rally came up short as the Cardinals dropped the Southland Conference series opener to McNeese State, 7-5, Thursday night at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
Lamar dropped to 32-20 overall and 18-10 in SLC play. McNeese State improved to 34-17 overall and 21-7 in SLC play, and clinched at least a share of the regular season title. The Cardinals and Cowboys continue the three-game series Friday at 6:30 p.m. and close out the series Saturday at 1 p.m.
Trailing 7-3, the Cardinals plated two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Matt Lambeth singled to right field with one out. Andrew Gay followed with a single up the middle and Erik Kanaby, who was 2-for-5 with two RBI, doubled to left center field to drive in Lambeth.
Ryan Baker drove in Gay with a sacrifice fly to center field. Collin Delome, who was 3-for-5, kept the inning alive by beating out and infield single, but Dan Hernandez struck out to end the game.
Lamar started the scoring with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Jo Jo Haney reached on a throwing error by shortstop Shon Landry. Haney stole second base with two outs and scored on Kanaby's RBI single to right field to give Lamar a 1-0 lead.
The Cowboys tied the game with a run in the top of the fourth inning and took a 3-1 lead with two in the fifth. Charlie Kingery walked with two outs in the fourth and scored on Joe Hulett's RBI double to left center field.
Thomas Zabasky led off the fifth with a double to straight away center field. Taylor Faul reached on a bunt single to put runners on the corners. Landry double to center field to drive in Zabasky. Tyler Dugas reached on a fielding error by shortstop Colt Crawford, which allowed Faul to score.
The Cardinals tied the game with a pair of runs in the home half of the seventh inning. Will Henderson
reached on a throwing error by third baseman Bryan Cartie. C.J. Ebarb
walked and Haney sacrificed both runners into scoring position.
Lambeth drove in Henderson with an RBI groundout to second. Pinch-hitter Andrew Leal double to right center field to drive in Ebarb and tie the game at 3-3.
McNeese State responded with two runs in the top of the eighth to take a 5-3 lead. Dugas led off the inning with a walk and was lifted for pinch-runner Chris Fontenot. Kingery, who was 2-for-3 with two RBI, sacrificed Fontenot to second. James Thibodeaux, who was 3-for-5, reached on an infield hit and advanced to second on Gay's throwing error, which also allowed Fontenot to score the go-ahead run. Zabasky singled to center field to drive in Thibodeaux.
The Cowboys added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning on a 2-run single to right field by Kingery to make the score 7-3.
Danny Davis (8-0) picked up the win in relief for the Cowboys. He allowed two runs on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts in two and one-third innings pitched. Starter Derek Blacksher pitched the first 6 2/3 innings, allowing three unearned runs on four hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Lamar starter William Delage (9-4) took the loss, allowing five runs, three earned, on nine hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings pitched. Allen Harrington pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with one walk.
Junior Derrick Gordon, who is 3-3 with a 5.69 earned run average, is expected to start today for Lamar. Chris Denton, who is 7-3 with a 4.31 ERA, is McNeese's probable starter.