May 2, 2013
BEAUMONT – The Lamar baseball team has won seven straight Southland Conference games, and the Cardinals will look to stretch it out this weekend as Oral Roberts makes the trip from Tulsa to Vincent-Beck Stadium.
Two of the conference’s best pitchers will square off on Friday night as Jonathan Dziedzic will look to out-duel projected top MLB draft prospect Alex Gonzalez. Dziedzic, with 83 strikeouts in 79.1 innings of work, holds a 6-1 record with a 2.84 earned run average.
However, Gonzalez has been even more impressive, fanning 94 over 82.1 innings with a 2.08 ERA and a 6-4 record.
Lamar (33-12, 12-6 SLC) will turn again to one of the conference’s other established arms in Eric Harrington on Saturday. The senior out of Groves is 7-1 this year with a 2.38 earned run average with four complete games.
Lance Warren (1-1, 2.21 ERA) is slated to pitch on Sunday, and as a team, the Cards rank second in the SLC with a 3.60 ERA.
A big reason for the team’s success has been the performance of the defense, which has committed the fewest errors in the NCAA this season and leads the nation with a .985 fielding percentage. The team has also combined for a conference-best 44 double plays.
Offensively, the Cards also rank the best in the SLC with a team batting average of .297. Led by Darian Johnson’s SLC-best 68 hits, four players are hitting above .300 and eight of LU’s nine regular starters are at .285 or better.
Oral Roberts (15-26, 10-8 SLC) will be looking to cut into Lamar’s lead at the top of the conference after taking two out of three against Nicholls in Tulsa last weekend. The Golden Eagles, who played one of the tougher non-conference slates in the SLC, sit at the bottom of the league with a .242 batting average and fourth in ERA at 3.92.
This weekend marks the first-ever meetings between LU and ORU.
First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m., and the games on both Friday and Sunday will be broadcast locally on KLVI 560 AM.