Baseball set to welcome in Columbia
Feb. 27, 2013
BEAUMONT – The Lamar baseball team will be hunting down a third consecutive weekend series victory this weekend as Columbia of the Ivy League will make the more than 1,300 mile trek down to Southeast Texas for a four-game slate, set to begin on Friday.
Due to low temperatures in the forecast, the series will begin earlier than expected as Friday’s originally scheduled game has been moved up to 3 p.m. Saturday’s doubleheader will continue as scheduled at 1 p.m., and Sunday’s first pitch has been moved back one hour to noon.
Lamar, who is entering with a 7-2 record with losses to Washington of the Pac-12 and third-ranked LSU, is looking to continue its best start since the 2010 season. The Cardinals will also be looking to collect a third consecutive series victory to kick off a season since 2009.
As expected, pitching has been the key to the hot start, headlined by the duo of Eric Harrington and Collin Chapman. Harrington, a senior out of Groves, is steadily climbing up in the LU record books, and he sits just four starts away from claiming the top spot in career starts and 31 innings shy of the record for most pitched. Chapman, son of former Card Tracy Chapman, has been just as strong in both of his outings this season.
The duo, along with junior college transfer David Carver, closed out last weekend in memorable fashion, each picking up a complete game victory over the Huskies.
Harrington and Chapman are both slated to start again this weekend. Jonathan Dziedzic, who sits fifth all-time in career strikeouts with 223, will also start. Sunday’s starter has yet to be determined.
The trio of V.J. Bunner, Aaron Olivas and Jude Vidrine is set to lead the LU offense. Bunner made his return to the line-up this past weekend, and he leads the team with a .563 batting average and an .813 slugging mark with four doubles. Vidrine has also doubled four times to go along with a homer, 12 scores and a .412 batting average. Olivas, perhaps best known for his defensive prowess, has been a revelation at the plate thus far, hitting .462 with five runs batted in and a .533 on-base percentage.
This season marks the second that Columbia and Lamar have met. The two sides last played each other in the 2009 season with the Cards taking three out of four. The Lions are set to open their season after a 21-24 campaign a year ago.