May 19, 2005
BEAUMONT - William Henderson drove in the game-winning run with a fielder's choice in the bottom of the ninth as Lamar pulled out a 4-3 win over Texas State Thursday night in Southland Conference baseball action at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
Lamar improved to 34-20 overall and 15-10 in SLC play. Texas State dropped to 31-23 overall and 14-11 in SLC play. The Cardinals and Bobcats will play game two of the series tonight at 7 p.m.
The Cardinals moved into sole possession of second place in the SLC standings as Texas-Arlington (14-11) lost 6-0 at Northwestern State (20-5). Southeastern Louisiana (12-13) kept its hold on sixth place with a 7-3 win over Louisiana-Monroe. Sam Houston State (11-14) and McNeese State (11-14) kept its hopes alive with wins over Nicholls State and Texas-San Antonio, respectively.
The top six teams in the conference standings qualify for the SLC Tournament May 25-28 at Brown-Stroud Field in Natchitoches, La. Northwestern State has already clinched the regular season title and No. 1-seed in the tournament.
With the game tied at 3-3 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, Lamar loaded the bases with no outs. Jeremy Gray drew a lead-off walk. Both Collin Delome and Chase Richards, trying to put down sacrifice bunts, reached on bunt singles. C.J. Ebarb hit into a fielder's choice with Gray being forced out at home plate.
Henderson followed with a little dribbler that trickled about 10 feet in front of home plate. Texas State catcher Dawid Bednarek fielded the ball, but DeLome's slide beat his dive back to home plate to give Lamar a 4-3 win.
Lamar started the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Matt Lambeth walked to lead off the inning and advanced to third on consecutive groundouts by Colt Crawford and Michael Ambort. Adrian Cantu singled to left field to drive in Lambeth with the game's first run.
Texas State tied the game at 1-1 with an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning. Heath Keel walked and Cassidy Dresch reached on a fielding error by Crawford at shortstop to put runners on the corners. Dawid Bednarek hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Keel.
The Cardinals scored single runs in the third and fifth innings to take a 3-1 lead. In the third, Lambeth singled to center field and Crawford walked. Cantu, who was 2-for-4 with two RBI, drove in Lambeth with a single to right field.
Lambeth, who was 2-for-3 with three runs scored, was the catalyst again in the fifth inning. He singled to center, stole second and scored on Crawford's singled to right field.
Texas State used a two-out rally to tie the game with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning. Dominic Ramos walked and Nolan Mast singled. After engineering a double steal, Kyle Anson doubled to left center to drive in both runners and tie the game at 3-3.
Steve MacFarland (7-2) picked up the win in relief of starter William Delage. MacFarland pitched the final one and one-third innings, allowing no runs or hits with two strikeouts. Delage pitched seven and two-third innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
B.J. Boening (1-2) took the loss for the Bobcats. He allowed one run on two hits with one walk in two-thirds of an inning pitched. Starter Chris Jean pitched seven and two-third innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks.