May 27, 2005
NATCHITOCHES, La. - Freshman Collin Delome tripled twice and drove in four runs as Lamar cruised to a 9-3 win over Southeastern Louisiana Friday night, sending the Cardinals to today's championship game of the 2005 Southland Conference Tournament at Brown-Stroud Field.
In addition, the victory was Lamar coach Jim Gilligan's 1,000th career win. He became the 16th active and 32nd all-time coach to reach the 1,000-win plateau. Danny Price of Florida International preceded Gilligan in reaching the milestone earlier this season.
Lamar, who is the No. 2-seed, will face No. 4-seed Texas-San Antonio in the championship game today at 1 p.m. The Cardinals will have to beat the Roadrunners, who are 3-0 in the tournament, twice to claim its second straight and third SLC Tournament title. UTSA defeated Lamar 6-3 on Thursday.
Lamar jumped on SLU starter Anthony Masson (2-4) for four runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back. Colt Crawford, who was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, walked and Michael Ambort singled to left field. Adrian Cantu reached on an error by first baseman Trent Hebert.
DeLome, who was 2-for-3 with three runs scored, cleared the bases with a 3-run triple down the right field line. Jeremy Gray drove in DeLome with an RBI ground out to shortstop to put Lamar up 4-0.
Randy Roth led off the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run to left center field to put SLU on the board, cutting Lamar's lead to 4-1.
Ambort hit a solo home run to left field in the top of the fifth inning, his 18th of the season, to push the lead to 5-1. The Cardinals added another run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to put the game out of reach.
Jo Jo Haney
tripled down the right field line in the sixth inning and scored on Chase Richards' RBI squeeze bunt. Crawford led off the seventh with a single to left field and scored on DeLome's triple into the left field corner. That was his ninth three-bagger of the season.
DeLome's two triples tied the SLC Tournament single-game record set by Ryan Anholt of Northwestern State in 1998. Gray, who was 2-for-5 with two RBI, drove in DeLome with a single to center to make the score 8-1.
SLU scored one run in the seventh inning and another in the eighth. The Lions loaded the bases with one out in the seventh on a single by Ryan Spencer and walks to Hebert and Rob Territo. David Pitfield drew a bases loaded walk to force in Spencer.
Steve Clevenger led off the eighth with a single to center and Roth followed with a double off the wall in left field. Spencer drove in Clevenger with an RBI ground out to third base to make the score 8-3.
Lamar added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning. DeLome was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game and advanced to second on a ground out. Ebarb singled to center field to drive in DeLome and make the score 9-3.
Steve MacFarland (8-2) started and picked up the win for the Cardinals. He allowed two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in six and one-third innings. Allen Harrington pitched the final two and two-third innings, allowing one run on four hits with one strikeout.
Masson took the loss for SLU, allowing six runs, four earned, on five hits with three strikeouts and one walk in six innings pitched.