Baseball sets out for Southeastern Louisiana

GO CARDINALS <b>Jude Vidrine</b>
Jude Vidrine

March 13, 2014


March 14-16 | Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field | Hammond, La.

Southeastern Louisiana Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The Last Meeting
Southeastern Louisiana7
May 25, 2013
Sugar Land, Texas
Cards end season with 7-2 loss to Southeastern Louisiana

SUGAR LAND - After staving off elimination in three consecutive games at the Southland Tournament, the Lamar baseball team couldn't quite keep the magic going as Southeastern Louisiana rebounded from a 12-2 loss to the Cardinals on Friday night to win 7-2 on Saturday afternoon at Constellation Field.


  • Lamar will play its first conference series of the season this weekend at Southeastern Louisiana.
  • The Cards put together their best offensive showing of the season on Wednesday, beating Prairie View A&M 18-6 in a run rule-shortened seven-inning affair. LU had 11 hits and 11 walks in the game.
  • After not having a single player hit a home run over the first 16 games of the year, a Card has gone yard in back-to-back games. Jacoby Middleton connected for a three-run shot over Harvard, and Wayne Stanley repeated the feat to put the exclamation point on an eight-run inning vs. Prairie View on Wednesday.
  • 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.

Projected Starters

Friday, 6 p.m.: LHP Chase Angelle (LU) vs. RHP Andro Cutura (SLU)

Saturday, 2 p.m.: RHP Will Hibbs (LU) vs. RHP Tate Scioneaux (SLU)

Sunday, 1 p.m.: RHP Brent Janak (LU) vs. RHP Kyle Keller (SLU)

LU vs. SLU

  • Southeastern Louisiana is 9-7 this season after dropping a pair of games to 12th-ranked Ole Miss in Hammond earlier this week.
  • Lamar will mark the third home series that the Lions have hosted this season. Previously, SLU had swept George Washington and took two of three this past weekend from Sacred Heart.
  • Last season, SLU posted a 36-24 record and finished the season in the championship game of the Southland Tournament. The Lions were a thorn in LU’s side during the tournament, taking the opener from the Cards in 5-3 fashion and then knocking LU out 7-2 in the semifinals.
  •  This is SLU’s first season under the direction of head coach Matt Riser.
  • The Lions were picked second in both Southland preseason polls. Both Lamar and SLU garnered a first place vote to tie for second in the coaches poll, and the Lions earned a pair of first-place votes in the SID poll.
  • This weekend will mark the 64th, 65th and 66th meetings between SLU and LU.
  • Last season, the Cards took two out of three in Hammond, highlighted by the most dominant showing of the season, winning 18-1 on the final day of the series. The last time LU lost a series to the Lions was in 2011. That year, the Red and White opened up with a 3-1 win only to lose 8-1 and 5-1 over the next two days.
  • LU and SLU first met in 1981 as the Cards took home 12-3 and 11-3 victories in Hammond. The two sides would face off six more times that year, with LU kicking off the next series with 5-0, 10-0 and 1-0 victories. The Cards would win twice more by scores of 7-6 and 4-1 before the Lions finally broke through for a 3-0 decision.
  • Southeastern Louisiana is one of 12 schools that Lamar has played from the Pelican State. The Cards hold an overall 502-417-2 vs. the state.

Southland play starts in Hammond

Lamar is set to open its conference slate this weekend in Hammond, and the Cards will look to continue their exceptionally strong record in conference-opening weekends. Overall, the Cards have an 89-49 record in the first league series of the season. LU is 28-20 in series openers and has won or drawn 32 of the 45 series.

The marks are even more impressive in Southland play, increasing to a 73-34 record with 22 series wins, nine losses and three splits.

This is the second time in six years that LU has started Southland season on the road. The Cards were swept by Central Arkansas in Conway in 2012.

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 .382 hitter, Santana has hit safely in all but one game this season and registered multiple hits in nine. He’s also doubled 10 times, which was the nation’s best total entering the week.

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 18 times in 18 games. He’s also knocked in 12 runs this year to go along with a .304 batting average and a league-best 15 walks. A regular in centerfield this season, he enters Wednesday with 112 consecutive starts, which ranks among the nation’s best.

Close Encounters of the Bird Kind

In 11 of the 18 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 Wednesday, Lamar’s all-time victory total climbed to 1,481. Getting to 1,500 would be just one more achievement for Jim Gilligan, who has recorded 1,270 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 1,339 of the victories, which accounts for 90.4% 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 1,270 over his 37 years, trailing just Augie Garrido of Texas (1,888), Mike Martin of Florida State (1,784), 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 889-430-4 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.




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