May 27, 2010
CORPUS CHRISTI - Obviously Anthony Moore, Joey Latulippe, Pablo Salinas and Andy Mena prefer sleeping in a bit when they're visiting a resort city.
Faced with the possibility of playing a 9 a.m. game the next day but also the prospect of perhaps playing two games, this quartet of players provided the big blows Thursday in a 10-7 victory over McNeese State that placed Lamar University's team in Friday's 4 p.m. game on Day 3 of the 2010 Southland Baseball Championships.
The loss left McNeese's No. 6-seed Cowboys burdened with Friday's early-morning wakeup call and the 9 a.m. elimination game against third-seeded Southeastern Louisiana.
Meanwhile, the fresher No. 7 seed Cardinals will be awaiting the SLU-McNeese survivor for the 4 p.m. game that will decide the winner of their half of the eight-team bracket.
Back to the big blows:
Moore slugged a two-run home run to boost the Cardinals into a 2-2 tie in the fourth-inning; Latulippe crushed a solo homer over Whataburger Field's left field fence in the sixth inning; Salinas hit a leadoff homer in the eighth, and Mena delivered a two-run double later in the inning to widen the Cardinals' lead to five runs.
After the pesky Cowboys matched Lamar's four eighth-inning runs to re-close their deficit to one, the Cardinals used three singles, a walk and a wild pitch in scoring the game's final two runs.
Meanwhile, sophomore Eric Harrington braved his way through nine grueling innings to secure his fourth complete game of the season. In improving to 8-3 on the season, the right-hander from Port Neches-Groves gave up nine hits and six earned runs while striking out eight batters and walking none.
Through two games in this tournament, Cardinal pitchers have surrendered only one, measly bases on balls.
In addition to hitting his eighth home run of the season, Moore singled to right field in the second and eighth innings, bunted for a single in the ninth and stole his seventh base of season in the eighth.
After there were two outs in the Cowboys' second inning, Harrington retired 13 batters in a row until right fielder Lee Orr halted the streak with his 17th homer of the season with two outs in the sixth inning.
Latulippe's homer was his fifth of the season, and Salinas' was his third. Mena's double was his 10th this spring, and shortstop Aaron Buchanan also added his 17th two-bagger to the Cardinals' 13-hit attack. It marked the 13th game in a row for the Cards to reach double digits in hits.