March 19, 2009
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Lamar will look to continue its winning ways in Southland Conference play this weekend as it plays host to Texas State in a three-game series at Vincent-Beck Stadium Friday through Sunday.
The series could be as simple of a match-up as Lamar's pitching and defense against Texas State's offense. The Cardinals lead the SLC with a 3.55 ERA and 182 strikeouts, a 9.1 per game average, while ranking second with a .975 fielding pct. Texas State, meanwhile, is third in the conference in hitting at .316 and is among the top five in runs, hits and RBI..
Lamar is 15-5 overall and 4-2 in SLC play, winning both series by 2-1 margins. Texas State is 10-7 and also 4-2. The Bobcats swept Texas A&M-Corpus Christi three weeks ago to open league play before dropping two of three at home to Sam Houston last weekend. Texas State led in the eighth inning in all three games but only came away with one win.
The leadoff men for both teams are definitely the table setters and have the potential to provide some spark for their respective teams. Lamar's Tyler Link is hitting .368 with five home runs, 22 walks and an on-base pct. of .552. By contrast, Texas State's Tyler Sibley is hitting .349 with 14 walks, eight hit-by-pitches and a on-base pct. of .595.
On the mound, the Cardinals will open the weekend with right-hander Ricky Testa (1-1, 4.74 ERA) and follow with righties Eric Harrington (3-0, 0.77) and Matison Smith (4-0, 2.73).
Texas State's starting rotation has been the backbone of their staff thus far. Right-hander Zach Tritz (3-1, 3.03 ERA) will get the start for the Bobcats on Friday. Right-hander Kane Holbrooks (4-0, 1.76) will start on Saturday and right-hander Brian Borski (3-0, 2.96).
Lamar leads the series 36-18 and has won eight of the last 10 series' - including five-consecutive in Beaumont - since rejoining the SLC in 1999. The Cardinals won two of three in San Marcos and a winner's bracket game in the SLC Tournament last season.
Friday's first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m., Saturday's game will start at 2 p.m. and Sunday's at 1 p.m. All three games will be broadcast over the Internet at LamarCardinals.com, with Friday's and Sunday's contests over the air on KLVI 560-AM.