May 27, 2005
NATCHITOCHES, La. - Senior Scott Vander Weg pitched his first complete-game of the season and Lamar staved off elimination with an 8-3 win over Texas-Arlington Friday afternoon in Southland Conference Tournament at Brown-Stroud Field.
Lamar improved its record to 37-22 on the season. The victory was also win No. 999 for Cardinal skipper Jim Gilligan, who is in his 29th season as a head coach and 28th at Lamar.
The Cardinals, the No. 2-seed, will face No. 6-seed Southeastern Louisiana tonight at 7 p.m. The Lions lost 9-8 to Texas-San Antonio in Friday's early game, which sent the Roadrunners to Saturday's championship game at 1 p.m.
Vander Weg (4-4) turned in his best performance of the year, just when the Cardinals needed him the most. He allowed three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and four walks in nine innings pitched.
UTA used a two-out rally to score the game's first run in the top of the third inning. Brock Wilson singled to center field. Nathan Warrick reached on a bunt single and Daniel Macha singled up the middle to load the bases. Ryan Nelson coaxed an RBI walk to put UTA up 1-0.
Lamar answered with four runs in the home half of the fourth inning. Michael Ambort, who was 2-for-4 with three RBI, doubled down the left field line with one out. Adrian Cantu singled to right field to drive in Ambort. Collin Delome, who was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, followed with a bunt single.
Jeremy Gray, who was 2-for-3 with three RBI, cleared the bases with a 2-run double to left center field. Chase Richards, who was 3-for-4, singled to right field to drive in Gray and put Lamar up 4-1.
The Mavericks cut the lead in half with a run in the fifth inning. Nathan Warrick doubled to left center with two outs. He scored on consecutive wild pitches by Lamar starter Scott Vander Weg
to make the score 4-2.
The Cardinals broke the game open with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Crawford led off the inning with a single to center field and Ambort followed with a 2-run home run to right center field. That was Ambort's 17th home run of the season, which is a new Lamar single-season school record, surpassing the old mark of 16 shared by Beau Allred (1987) and Jason Klam (1996).
DeLome double down the left field line and scored on Gray's single to right field to extend the Cardinals lead to 7-2.
UTA scratched across a run in the top of the eighth inning. Macha double down the left field line, moved to third on a ground out and scored on sacrifice fly to right field by Boomer Welles to make the score 7-3.
UTA starter Dillon Gee (5-8) took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and four walks in five and two-third innings pitched.