May 23, 2009
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Lamar saw its season come to an end with a 13-2 loss in the bracket two title game of the 2009 Southland Conference Tournament at Whataburger Field Friday.
The Cardinals never seemed to get going after expending a lot of energy earlier in the day in their 4-3 win over UTA just to the get a second chance at the Bobcats.
Lamar (38-22) had 10 hits on the night and left 10 men on base but couldn't get the big hits when it needed it most. LU loaded the bases in both the fifth and seventh innings but only managed to score once in each frame.
"We had plenty of opportunities and didn't do too bad at the plate, but the hits just weren't timely," Lamar head coach Jim Gilligan said after the game.
Texas State (41-14), meanwhile, had 15 hits and for the second-consecutive night used a big inning early to jump on the Cardinals. Friday it was a six-run second inning that consisted of five hits, an error and a fielder's choice as TSU was up 7-0. The Bobcats advance to Saturday's championship game where they will face Sam Houston State at 6 p.m.
Lamar made it 7-1 when Chris Dunkin scored on Tyler Link's bases-loaded fielder's choice in the fifth.
The Bobcats responded with two runs in the sixth to extend their lead to 9-1 before Link drove in Dunkin for the second time in the contest, with the latter coming on a bases-loaded single in the seventh that put the score at 9-2.
Texas State added a run in the seventh and ended the game on a Bret Atwood 3-run home run in the eighth.
Dunkin led the Cardinals at the dish with a 3-for-3 game and scored twice. Link and Anthony Moore each had two hits as well. Dunkin and Moore both finished their four tournament games with strong numbers. Dunkin hit .600 with two runs and Moore hit .583 with four doubles and a triple for a 1.083 slugging pct, was hit three times and stole a base.
Spencer Cuniff (1-1) took the loss for Lamar and Zach Tritz (8-2) earned the win for Texas State.
The 38 wins are the most in four years for Lamar as they also finished the regular-season with 20 conference victories for the third-consecutive year, finished fourth in the SLC regular-season and tied for third in the postseason tournament.