Lamar and Nicholls to open SLC series Friday
April 19, 2012
THIBODAUX, La. - Coming off a hard fought 5-4 loss at No. 1 LSU on Wednesday, the Lamar University baseball team will jump back into Southland Conference play with a three-game series at Nicholls this weekend. Game one is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday evening.
The Cardinals and Colonels will also play at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday from Didier Field. Saturday's game will be televised locally at 6 p.m. on tape delay by Fox 4.
Lamar played the top ranked Tigers tough as third baseman Darian Johnson smashed a home run and drove in three in the Cards' upset bid. However, Lamar must now turn its attention back to conference play where it is battling for one of the eight spots in the Southland Tournament.
With five conference series left to play, Lamar stands at 13-22 overall and 6-12 in league action. The Cardinals are tied with UTSA for 11th in the conference standings, but stand just two games out of eighth place. Nicholls (18-18 overall) is just ahead of Lamar with a 7-11 conference mark.
Lamar had won back-to-back Southland series before last weekend when No. 20 Sam Houston State came to town and took two out of three. Nicholls has dropped its last four games, including getting swept over the weekend at Central Arkansas.
The Cardinals own a 50-29-2 record all-time against Nicholls, including a three-game home sweep last year. Lamar's last sweep in Thibodaux came during the 2006 season when the Cards scored eight runs in three straight games. The Cards are 24-11 against Nicholls since rejoining the Southland Conference for the 1999 season.
Junior Eric Harrington is scheduled to get the start on the mound Friday evening for the Cardinals. Harrington came into the season with an 18-4 career record, but is just 1-6 with a 4.48 earned run average this year. The former Port Neches-Groves standout leads Lamar in innings pitched (64.1) and strikeouts (38).
Senior right hander Seth Webster, who is 5-3 on the year with a 4.31 ERA, will take the mound for the Colonels in game one. Webster has 38 strikeouts on the season with only five walks surrendered.
As a team, Lamar is hitting .249 with 3.7 runs scored per game. The Cardinals have 13 total home runs and a .340 team slugging percentage. Nicholls is hitting .266 while scoring just over five runs per game. The Colonels lead the conference with 81 stolen bases on the season.
In addition to the big game from Johnson, sophomore right fielder Jude Vidrine broke out of a hitting slump to pick up three base hits against LSU. Senior left fielder Jeff Abt added a fifth-inning single against the Tigers to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
Junior designated hitter Seth Dornak, who was 2-for-4 against LSU, leads the Cardinals with a .303 batting average. Johnson is hitting .293 with three home runs to match center fielder Garret Autrey for the team lead in home runs.
Senior Jeremy Hill leads a trio of Colonels hitting at least .300 with a .333 batting average. Fellow senior Michael LeGrange is hitting .324, while sophomore Philip Lyons is hitting .321 with a team-leading 26 runs batted in.
Four Colonels have stolen at least 10 bases on the year, led by Matt Richard with 18.