April 10, 2014
BEAUMONT – After picking up its first conference series win of the season last weekend, the Lamar baseball team will be in search of another as the Cardinals are set to close out the first half of league season with a three-game set against New Orleans.
This weekend’s series is the second consecutive that has pitted LU vs. a new Southland member. Last week, the Red and White picked up all three games at Abilene Christian, including an impressive 16-7 rout on getaway day. It was a particularly impressive performance from senior outfielder Jude Vidrine, who hit .636 in the series and earned conference player of the week honors from College Sports Madness.
It was an important sweep for the Cards (18-15, 5-7 Southland) as the team is aiming to secure a spot in the annual Southland Tournament. LU currently sits a game back of the eighth and final spot in the league’s premier event with six series left on the schedule.
If LU is to make its return to the top of the Southland this season, it’s likely that Sam Bumpers’ thus-far excellent conference form will need to continue. The senior, who was batting just .206 prior to the start of the league season, has been a tough out since, hitting .482 with a .532 on-base percentage and four homers over the 12 games. Bumpers is riding a 17-game hit streak into the weekend, which is the longest of the season for a Card.
Will Hibbs and Chase Angelle are both slated to start on the mound for LU. Hibbs, a sophomore out of Friendswood, has held hitters to a .239 average in four Southland games, and carries a 1-1 record with 3.60 ERA over that time. Orange native Angelle, has a 3.71 ERA in Southland play and will be looking for an eighth quality start overall in nine opportunities this season.
New Orleans is 10-20 this year with a 2-10 conference mark after dropping two out of three last week at fellow Southland newcomer Incarnate Word.
Both the Cards and the Privateers are coming off of particularly notable midweek encounters in the Louisiana. New Orleans handed Louisiana, the nation’s top-ranked team, an 8-7 decision in Lafayette on Tuesday, and LU fell 5-0 to No. 8 LSU in Baton Rouge on Wednesday.
First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.