Cards drop series opener to Lumberjacks 2-0
May 19, 2011
NACOGDOCHES - Starting pitcher Blake Ford was the hard luck loser Thursday afternoon at Jaycees Field as the Cardinals' ace allowed just two runs over eight strong innings in Lamar University's 2-0 Southland Conference Baseball loss at Stephen F. Austin.
The Cardinals, who entered the final series of the 2011 regular season in a three-way tie for sixth in the SLC standings, fell to 28-24 on the year and 14-17 in conference action. The series will continue on Friday afternoon at 2 before the finale Saturday at 1 p.m.
Lamar managed just three hits on the day, but stayed in the game thanks to Ford's pitching and solid defense. The Cardinals turned the only double play of the game and did not commit an error. Despite allowing 12 hits, two for extra bases, Ford (6-4) worked the complete game on 131 pitches with six strikeouts.
Lamar threatened in the ninth inning off SFA reliever Alex Moshier, prompting Lumberjack head coach Johnny Cardenas to bring in ace reliever Jason West. Moshier walked LU shortstop Aaron Buchan to start the inning, and after inducing Ted Zentek to fly out to right field, first baseman Wade Mathis singled to put runners on first and second with only one out.
West, who now has nine saves on the season, retired Joey Latulippe and Jeff Abt in order to preserve the pitching gem by SFA starter Tyler Herriage. Herriage improved to 3-5 on the year by allowing just two hits over seven innings while striking out eight.
The Jacks (33-20, 19-12) struck for their first run in the sixth inning as shortstop Hunter Dozier doubled home Darren Crabtree with one out. Crabtree would account for the other run in the eighth inning as he blasted his fifth home run of the year over the right field wall to lead off the inning.
Lamar's best scoring opportunity came in the top of the sixth when right fielder Jude Vidrine singled with one out and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches. However, Herriage got Zentek to pop up to second base and Mathis to ground out to second to quash the scoring threat.
Abt, who is leading LU with a .361 batting average in SLC play, had the Cards' only other hit when he singled in the second inning and stole second. Once again, Herriage shut Lamar down to end the inning.