Lamar Comes From Behind To Defeat UTA, 4-3

GO CARDINALS Brian Needham struck out three and got the win while working 5.2 innings of relief.
Brian Needham struck out three and got the win while working 5.2 innings of relief.

May 20, 2009

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Lamar scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth, including the game-winning sacrifice fly to come from behind and beat Texas-Arlington, 4-3, in the opening round of the Southland Conference Baseball Tournament at Whataburger Field Wednesday.

Lamar (37-20) looked dead in the water through six innings as starter Eric Harrington was roughed up for the second time by the Mavericks this season, but a great relief outing by Brian Needham kept the Cards within striking distance.

Trailing 3-0 after UTA scored once in the second, third and fifth innings, Lamar scored a pair in the seventh on a Tyler Link double that snuck just inside the bag at first as Jeremiah Sammy and Cameron Campbell came home to make it a 3-2 game.

An inning later the Cardinals loaded the bases and Sammy drew a full-count walk to tie the game, before Ryan Saldivar hit a shallow fly to right that allowed Steven Tucker to score from third as the throw home was up the line and give LU its first lead of the contest.

"It was a great ball game," Lamar head coach Jim Gilligan said. "(Eric) Harrington was leaving the ball up and you can't win doing that against this team. I was proud of our guys. They didn't quit and hung in there and we ended up playing a pretty good ball game."

The come-from-behind win was Lamar's 17th of the season and their third in the last four games. It also marked just the fourth when trailing after seven innings. Lamar opened the 2008 SLC Tournament with a come-from-behind will as well that helped propel the team to the championship game.

That rally in the eighth allowed Needham (4-3) to pick up the win as he threw a season-long 5.2 innings while striking out three and allowing just one run. Ricky Testa came on in the ninth and picked up his first save of the year by retiring three of the four batters he faced in the ninth..

"Needham came in and did a great job allowing just the one run the rest of the way," Gilligan added.

Quentin Luquette, Chris Dunkin and Anthony Moore each went 2-for-4 to lead the Cardinal attack that saw LU get ten hits with half of them coming in their final two at-bats.

Rett Varner (2-3) took the loss for UTA (29-25) as he allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Lamar will play top-seeded Texas State at approximately 7 p.m. on Thursday night. The Bobcats rolled past Stephen F. Austin, 9-2, behind three home runs in the afternoon game on Wednesday.



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