Baseball set for Harvard series

GO CARDINALS <b>Chase Angelle</b>
Chase Angelle

March 6, 2014


March 7-9 | Vincent-Beck Stadium | Beaumont, Texas

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  • Lamar played its first road game of the season on Wednesday, dropping a 3-2 decision at Baylor. The game wasn't without its chances, as the tying run got into scoring position in the top of the ninth before a game-ending double play.
  •  Saturday's doubleheader marks the last scheduled doubleheader of the season, and the third for LU this season. The Cards won both against LIU Brooklyn, and lost both vs. UIC and Marist in the Cardinal Classic.
  • Jim Gilligan Way will be closed on Saturday due to the Gusher Marathon. For more information on the best route to the stadium, please click here.
  • So far this season, the potential tying or game-winning run has taken an at bat in the ninth inning in nine of 13 games.
  • The Cardinals went 39-20 last season, the best record for the program since the Southland championship-winning 2004 campaign.
  • 17 of the 33 players are newcomers, and 15 are junior college transfers.
  • 30 Cards hail from the state of Texas, including six from Southeast Texas and one from Beaumont.
  • LU will play 33 games at home this season, including the first 13.
  • 25 of LU's games are scheduled vs. Texas opponents, including a home-and-home series with perennial powerhouse Rice.

Projected Starters

FRIDAY, 6:30 p.m.: LHP Chase Angelle (LU) vs. RHP Sean Poppen (Harvard)

SATURDAY, 1 p.m.: RHP Will Hibbs (LU) vs. RHP Nick Gruener (Harvard)

SATURDAY, 1 p.m.: RHP J.T. Autrey (LU) vs. RHP Sam Dodge (Harvard)

SUNDAY, 11 a.m.: RHP Brent Janak (LU) vs. RHP Tanner Anderson (Harvard)

LU vs. Harvard

  • Harvard is currently 0-4 on the year after dropping four games at Southland opponent Oral Roberts last weekend. Despite the lopsided record, the Crimson were very competitive with the Golden Eagles as the four games were decided by a combined total of six runs.
  • Harvard is coming off a 10-31 campaign a year ago, which marked the first season for the Crimson under current head coach Bill Decker.
  • This weekend will mark the first-ever meetings between Lamar and Harvard. 
  • LU holds an all-time 10-2 record vs. the Ivy League.
  • Harvard is the second member of the Ancient Eight that Lamar has taken on in as many years. Last season, the Cards put together a four-game sweep of Columbia. LU also won three out of four over the Lions in 2009, and the other wins came over Yale and Cornell twice.
  • Harvard will be the third school that Lamar has played from the state of Massachusetts. The Cards have been impeccable vs. the state, posting a 5-1 mark. Last season, LU handed UMass a three-game sweep, and the first school from the state to fall victim to the Cards was Holy Cross in 2007. The Crusaders took the opening game of that series, but the Red and White bounced back to out-score Holy Cross 28-6 over the series' final two games.
  • Harvard, widely considered one of the best academic schools in the world is currently ranked second according to the U.S. News and World Report. LU has played 32 schools currently listed in the publication's top 100, posting a 159-236-1 overall record. This season, LU is 0-1 vs. the top 100 after dropping a 3-2 decision at Baylor on Wednesday.



LU in non-conference weekend series

The Cardinals have played two traditional series at home this season, picking up a four-game sweep of LIU Brooklyn and taking two of three from Texas-Pan American. Over the past decade, the Cards have experienced unequaled success in non-conference weekend series, racking up an impressive 64-6 mark.

Last season, LU picked up four-game sweeps over Northern Kentucky and Columbia, earned a three-game sweep of UMass and earned series victories against Washington (3-1) and UTPA (2-1)

Since 2004, the Cards have won 20 of the 21 series.


Close Encounters of the Bird Kind

In six of the nine games this season, the tying or go-ahead run has made the walk to the plate in the ninth inning.

On Wednesday, LU attempted a late comeback vs. Baylor, bouncing back after a three-run BU seventh to reclaim a run in the eighth. The Cards put two on in the ninth, but a game-ending double play put a halt to the attempted rally.

This past weekend, LU brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but ultimately fell 4-1 to the Broncs. The Cards repaid the favor a day later as Danny Fernandez earned his first save in a 5-3 win.

In the season opener vs. Marist, Jude Vidrine picked up one of his three outfield assists this season, combining with Tyler Sullivan to gun down the tying run at the plate to end the game at 7-6. On the following day, LU lost a 12-inning affair to UIC 6-3 before returning for a 4-3 setback to Marist. The Cards also won an 8-7 10 inning game vs. UIC, and stranded the bases loaded in an 8-4 loss to Texas Southern three days later.

Santana's Supernatural start

After putting together a stellar sophomore campaign with Blinn College, a lot was expected this season out of junior outfielder Kevin Santana. So far, the Cypress native has delivered. A .391 hitter, Santana has hit safely in all but one game this season and registered multiple hits in six. He's also doubled eight times, which ranks second in the country.

There must be an Angelle among us

Chase Angelle was second in appearances last season for the Lamar pitching staff, and he's once again asserted himself in 2014. The junior out of Orange has made three starts this season, going seven innings in each, allowing three or fewer runs each time. Last time out, he struck out eight and gave up three runs on four hits to UTPA. He is one of 43 pitchers in the country with three quality starts this season.

New Adventures of Old Vidrine

Jude Vidrine is the lone remnant of the 2010 Southland Tournament-winning team. The Nederland native redshirted that season, and as a senior, he's continuing to make a name for himself. Vidrine scored more runs and walked more last season than any other returning player, and he's continued that form into this years campaign, touching home a team-best 11 times in 13 games. He's also knocked in 11 runs this year to go along with a .283 batting average.


Chasing win No. 1,500

After last weekend, Lamar's all-time victory total climbed to 1,477. Getting to 1,500 would be just one more achievement for Jim Gilligan, who has recorded 1,265 of the victories as the head coach. He was also an assistant for 36 more in 1970 and 1971, and he played for the Cards in 1967 and 68, helping LU to another 33. In all Gilligan's been involved in 1,334 of the victories, which accounts for 90.4% of the overall total.

Gilligan fifth on active wins list

With a 39-win campaign a year ago and the retirement of longtime Wichita State skipper Gene Stephenson, Lamar head coach Jim Gilligan moved to fifth among the winningest active NCAA Division I head coaches. Gilligan currently boasts of 1,265 over his 36 years, trailing just Augie Garrido of Texas (1,883), Mike Martin of Florida State (1,779), Mark Marquess of Stanford (1,498) and Jim Morris of Miami (1,396). Gilligan, who also spent time as a pitcher and an assistant coach for the Cards, sits 14th on the all-time wins list.


Protecting the Nest

Vincent-Beck Stadium has been a fortress for Lamar baseball for much of its 46-year existence. The Cards hold an impressive 889-429-4 record within its walls, winning 67.2% of the games they play at home. Last year was no exception to the rule as LU finished with a home mark of 27-10, which is tied for the most wins at home since a 29-4 campaign in 1993.

Overall, LU has recorded 20 or more home victories 26 times over the past 45 seasons, including 12 of the past 13. The Cards have had .500 or better at home in all but five seasons.


Big Red Sports Network adds baseball

For the first time in school history, LU games will be available for free live via The Big Red Sports Network will broadcast select games over the course of the season, including Friday's series opener and Sunday's series finale.




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