May 21, 2005
BEAUMONT - Senior Adrian Cantu singled to right field to drive in the game-winning run as Lamar scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for a come-from-behind 7-6 win over Texas State in Southland Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
Lamar closed out the regular season with a 35-21 overall record and a 16-11 mark in SLC play. The Cardinals finished in second place in the league standings and will be the No. 2-seed in the SLC Tournament. Lamar will play at 11 a.m. on Wednesday against No. 5-seed Texas-Arlington.
Host and top-seeded Northwestern State will play No. 6-seed Southeastern Louisiana Wednesday at 7 p.m. and the other opening day matchup in the double-elimination tournament will be No. 3-seed Texas State playing No. 4-seed Texas-San Antonio at 3 p.m.
Lamar won last year's SLC Tournament in Hammond, La., defeating UL-Monroe in the championship game. The last time Northwestern State hosted the SLC Tournament was in 1994, which was a four-team tournament then, and UTSA claimed the tournament title.
Trailing 6-4 entering the bottom of the ninth, C.J. Ebarb walked to lead off the inning and was lifted for pinch-runner Murray Gilbertson. Jeremy Gray walked and Jo Jo Haney reached in a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt. Texas State pitcher tried to cut down Gilbertson at third base on the bunt, but Gilbertson beat the throw. Matt Lambeth reached on a fielder's choice ground out with Gilbertson scoring on the play to pull the Cardinals within a run.
Lambeth stole second and Colt Crawford walked to reload the bases with one out. Gray scored the tying run on a wild pitch by reliever B.J. Boening. Michael Ambort was intentionally walked and Cantu singled to right field on the first pitch from reliever Jason Baca to drive in Lambeth with the winning run.
Lamar started the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Ambort drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on Adrian Cantu's
single to left field. Collin Delome
followed with a 2-run home run to center field to give the Cardinals a quick 3-0 lead.
Texas State (32-24, 15-12) answered back with two runs in the top of the second. Jose Rodriguez walked and Kyle Jones followed with a triple to right center field. Dawid Bednarek singled to left field to drive in Jones to make the score 3-2.
The Bobcats added two more in the sixth inning. Bednarek led off the inning with a double to left center field. Dominic Ramos followed with a 2-run home run to left center field to put the Bobcats up 6-3.
Lamar started its comeback with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Ambort drew a two-out walk and Cantu followed with a single down the left field line to put runners on the corners. DeLome singled up the middle to drive in Ambort and make the score 6-4.
Cantu, a senior playing in his final home game, went 3-for-5 with two runs batted in. DeLome went 2-for-4 with three RBI, including his fourth home run of the season.
Chuckie Platt (3-0), Lamar's fourth pitcher of the game, pitched a scoreless ninth inning, allowing two hits with one strikeout, to pick up the win. Boening (1-3) took the loss for the Bobcats, allowing one run on two walks in one-third of an inning pitched.
Lamar honored its eight seniors - Cantu, Gray, Chase Richards, Trey Swor, Brian Shallock, Trey Rinando, Sam Huff and Scott Vander Weg - in a pre-game ceremony.