March 11, 2014
LAMAR vs. PRAIRIE VIEW A&M
March 12 | Vincent-Beck Stadium | Beaumont, Texas
Prairie View A&M Notes
The Last Meeting
March 12, 2013
Baseball wins 11th consecutive game
BEAUMONT - It was another night, another win for the Lamar baseball team on Tuesday at Vincent-Beck Stadium as the Cardinals picked up their 11th consecutive victory with a 7-1 decision over visiting Prairie View A&M.
- Lamar played its final non-conference weekend series of the season this past week, taking three of four from visiting Harvard. The Cards have now won all but one non-conference home series since 2005.
- Jacoby Middleton had one of the best outings of the season for a Cardinal on Sunday, homering and going 4-for-4 with four runs batted in and four scores.
- Kevin Santana is currently the national leader in doubles with 10. Jordan Foster was the last Card to lead the nation in doubles, taking home the 2002 statistical crown with a school-record total of 29 in 2003.
- So far this season, the potential tying or game-winning run has taken an at bat in the ninth inning in 11 of 17 games.
- The Cardinals went 39-20 last season, the best record for the program since the Southland championship-winning 2004 campaign.
- 17 of LU's 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 12.
- 25 of LU's games are scheduled vs. Texas opponents, including a home-and-home series with perennial powerhouse Rice.
Wednesday, 4 p.m.: RHP Hunter Perry (LU) vs. TBA (PVAMU)
LU vs. PVAMU
- Prairie View A&M is currently 5-9, and is coming off of a Tuesday afternoon 12-4 loss to Southland member Houston Baptist in Houston. The five wins came over Arkansas-Pine Bluff and both Texas College and Grambling twice.
- Lamar is the third Southland opponent that the Panthers will have played this season after dropping four to Houston Baptist and one to Northwestern State.
- Last season, the Panthers posted a 27-27 record for head coach Waskyla Cullivan, who is currently in his sixth season for PVAMU.
- The Panthers were tabbed to finish second in the SWAC West preseason poll with 72 points, garnering eight of a possible 20 first-place votes. Southern, which actually had less first-place votes, was picked first with 74 points.
- Wednesday marks the 43rd meeting between the Cardinals and the Panthers, and it marks the seventh straight season that two sides have met. LU holds an impressive 39-3 series record, winning each of the past six meetings.
- The Cards won 7-1 in the only meeting last season. Former Card Darian Johnson went 3-for-4 at the plate and the quartet of Jayson McKinley, Travis Moore, Hunter Perry and Chase Angelle combined to hold the Panthers to just five hits.
- The last Prairie View win in the series came in 9-5 fashion in 2009.
- LU and PVAMU first met in a two-game series in 1988. The Cards won 7-6 and 7-0 in the games and would go on to win eight straight before the Panthers took home 5-4 and 4-0 wins in 1990.
- PVAMU is the second member of the SWAC that the Cards have faced this season. Texas Southern dealt LU an 8-4 setback earlier this season, but overall, the Red and White have been very successful against the league, posting a 50-7 record overall. LU has taken on a SWC member in all but two of the last 11 seasons.
- Prairie View A&M is one of 32 schools that Lamar has played from the state of Texas. Overall, the Cards have experienced a strong record of success against their home state, posting a 641-513-2 mark and winning 55.4% of the games they’ve played. This season, LU is 2-3 vs. the state, falling to Texas Southern and Baylor but taking two of three from Texas-Pan American. Last year, the Cards went 14-7 in games vs. Texas foes.
Return of the Jac
Jacoby Middleton became the first Cardinal of the season to hit a home run on Sunday, and he did it in impressive fashion as he became just the third player this season to send one out of the notoriously pitcher-friendly Vincent-Beck Stadium. The three-run blast was the highlight of the day for the junior out of Grand Prairie as he ended 4-for-4 with four runs batted in and three scores.
A day prior, Middleton singled up the middle in the 10th to record his second game-ending at-bat of the season. Earlier this season, the Odessa College transfer hit into a fielder’s choice vs. UIC to secure a victory in the Cardinal Classic. In both instances, the winning run was scored by Jude Vidrine.
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 .369 hitter, Santana has hit safely in all but one game this season and registered multiple hits in eight. He’s also doubled 10 times, which stands as the nation’s best total so far 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 16 times in 17 games. He’s also knocked in 11 runs this year to go along with a .318 batting average. A regular in centerfield this season, he enters Wednesday with 111 consecutive starts, which ranks among the nation’s best.
Awaken the Eckols
Justin Eckols has split time behind the plate this season with Brandon Provost, but the junior’s patience in the batter’s box hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Paris Junior College transfer has walked 13 times in just 13 games, which ranks 13th in the nation and second in the Southland Conference.
Close Encounters of the Bird Kind
In 11 of the 17 games this season, the tying or go-ahead run has made the walk to the plate in the ninth inning.
The Cards won a pair of one-run games this past weekend against Harvard, both on Saturday. In the first, LU grabbed a 4-0 lead early, but was forced to hold on late for a 4-3 decision, and in the second, Jacoby Middleton singled up the middle in the bottom of the 10th to secure a 3-2 victory.
Last 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.
Against UTPA, 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.
Chasing win No. 1,500
After last weekend, Lamar’s all-time victory total climbed to 1,480. Getting to 1,500 would be just one more achievement for Jim Gilligan, who has recorded 1,268 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 1,337 of the victories, which accounts for 90.3% of the overall total.
LU in non-conference weekend series
The Cardinals have played three traditional series at home this season, picking up a four-game sweep of LIU Brooklyn and dropping single games to both Texas-Pan American and Harvard. Over the past decade, the Cards have experienced unequaled success in non-conference weekend series, racking up an impressive 67-7 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 22 of the 23 series.
Gilligan fifth on active win 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 1,268 over his 37 years, trailing just Augie Garrido of Texas (1,886), Mike Martin of Florida State (1,781), Mark Marquess of Stanford (1,502) and Jim Morris of Miami (1,401). 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 888-430-4 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 LamarCardinals.com. The Big Red Sports Network will broadcast select games over the course of the season, including Wednesday’s meeting with Prairie View A&M.