Lamar looks to continue strong play at SFA

GO CARDINALS <strong>Jude Vidrine carries a seven-game hitting streak into Thursday's game</strong>
Jude Vidrine carries a seven-game hitting streak into Thursday's game

April 4, 2012

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NACOGDOCHES - Fresh off its first series win of the season, the Lamar University baseball team will look to make it two in a row when it opens a Southland Conference series Thursday afternoon at Stephen F. Austin.

First pitch is set for 3 p.m. from SFA's Jaycees Field. The three-game conference series will include a 2 p.m. game Friday and the final game Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Cardinals took two out of three at home from Southeastern Louisiana over the weekend to improve to 10-17 on the year and 3-9 in conference play. SFA dropped two games at Northwestern State to fall to 12-16 overall and 5-7 in league action.

Lamar is currently tied for 11th in the SLC standings, but would move ahead of SFA with a series sweep. The top eight teams in the regular season qualify for the Southland Conference Tournament which will be held at Texas State's Bobcat Ballpark May 23-26.

The Cardinals are scheduled to start junior right hander Eric Harrington on Thursday afternoon. Harrington, who took the loss in a 2-1 defeat by SLU despite throwing a complete game, is 0-5 on the year with a 4.78 earned run average. The former Port Neches-Groves standout entered this season with an 18-4 career record.

SFA is scheduled to counter with right handed pitcher Cameron Gann on Thursday. The freshman from Crandall (Texas) High School is 3-0 on the year with a sparkling 1.95 earned run average. Gann's last outing was a complete game six-hitter in SFA's 8-2 win at Northwestern State.

Lamar and Stephen F. Austin have met 58 times on the baseball field with the Cardinals holding a commanding 46-12 series advantage. The two teams played four straight games last year as they met for the last three games of the regular season and the opening contest of the Southland Conference Tournament.

SFA took 2-of-3 in Nacogdoches to close the 2011 regular season, and then picked up a 3-2 win in San Marcos in the opening round of the conference tournament. The last series sweep came in 2008 when the Cardinals won all three contests at Vincent-Beck Stadium.

As a team, the Cardinals are hitting .239 and averaging 3.5 runs per game. SFA carries a .253 team batting average into the weekend and is averaging 4.4 runs per contest.

Junior designated hitter Seth Dornak leads the Cardinals with a .292 batting average. Dornak is hitting just .257 over his last nine games, though, and has driven in only one run during that span.

Lamar's hottest hitters lately have been third baseman Darian Johnson and first baseman Brad Picha. Over the Cardinals' last 10 games, Johnson is hitting .317 and Picha is batting .313. The two have combined for 10 RBI during the stretch, as well.

Sophomore shortstop Hunter Dozier leads the `Jacks with a .352 batting average, seven home runs, 18 RBI and a .639 slugging percentage. Junior Rene Moreda is the other .300 hitter on the team with a .304 batting average.




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