Lamar hosting A&M-Corpus Christi for big baseball weekend

<strong>Jonathan Dziedzic is scheduled to take the mound for the Cardinals on Friday</strong>

Jonathan Dziedzic is scheduled to take the mound for the Cardinals on Friday

May 10, 2012

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BEAUMONT - Lamar University will welcome Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to Vincent-Beck Stadium this weekend for a three-game Southland Conference baseball series that will go a long way in determining if the Cardinals will qualify for the league tournament. The first game is set for Friday evening at 6:30 p.m.

In addition to the three games on the field, Lamar will be recognizing its six seniors before Friday's game and welcoming back former players for a reunion weekend. Prior to Saturday's 2 p.m. game, former players from 1967-72 will be honored on the field.

"All the players coming in is something I'd like to savor a little more than I'm going to be allowed to because of the importance of our ball games," said LU head coach Jim Gilligan. "I'll get to see a bunch of guys that I haven't seen in a long time and a bunch of men that have been so instrumental in the success of this program over the years.

"David Bernsen got this all started up and he's really in back of it. To get a chance for our guys now to get to see all these great players that are going to be coming back, it's going to be very special. We are also creating the Bob Frederick Award to honor the first coach here in 1967 that did such a great job in getting everything going which will go to someone who has shown courage through adversity."

Friday and Saturday's games will be broadcast on KLVI 560 AM with Harold Mann providing the play-by-play, while Sunday's 1 p.m. game will be televised by Fox 4. This will be the final home action for Lamar this season as the Cardinals close the regular season next week at UTSA.

Lamar (19-27 overall) starts the weekend with an 11-16 conference mark which is currently 10th in the standings. The Islanders, who are 21-27 on the year, are just one game ahead of the Cardinals with a 12-15 league mark. AMCC is tied with Stephen F. Austin and Northwestern State for seventh place with the top eight teams earning a spot into the Southland Conference Tournament.

Lamar and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi have played 31 times with the Cardinals owning a commanding 24-7 series advantage. Lamar took 2-of-3 from the Islanders during the 2011 regular season, but it was AMCC that knocked the Cardinals out of the Southland Conference Tournament with a 4-1 victory in San Marcos last May.

Four pitchers and two position players make up the 2012 Lamar senior class that will be playing in Vincent-Beck Stadium for the last time this weekend.

Catcher Cameron Campbell is the most experienced of the group having lettered three times and appeared in 128 games. Campbell is a career .252 hitter with 20 doubles and 52 runs batted in. Jeff Abt is the other position player as the 2011 Al Vincent Award winner as Lamar's top hitter has appeared in 96 games in the outfield. Abt is a career .301 hitter and needs just one more hit for the 100th of his career.

The four pitchers are Zach Boulanger, Machon Trimm, Albert Lott and John Gilligan. Gilligan is 4-2 with a 2.02 ERA in 35 career appearances. Trimm is 3-8 with a 3.08 ERA in 34 appearances. Lott has appeared in 17 games with a 2-1 record and a 2.63 ERA, while Boulanger is 1-2 in 15 career games.

Junior left hander Jonathan Dziedzic is scheduled to get the start Friday evening for the Cardinals. Dziedzic is 4-3 on the year with a 3.38 earned run average, but is coming off a loss at Texas State is his last outing when he allowed 10 runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings.

The Islanders will counter with junior right hander Daniel Minor who is 8-2 with a 1.94 ERA and 94 strikeouts.

The Cardinals have been on a tear at the plate lately, hitting .341 as a team over the last five games to raise the team batting average to .273 on the year.. Third baseman Darian Johnson and first baseman Brad Picha have been particularly strong, hitting .550 and .500, respectively.

On the year, Johnson now leads the Cardinals with a .328 batting average. Picha is hitting .314 on the season with a team-leading 32 runs batted in. Picha is also carrying a nine-game hitting streak into this weekend's series, while Abt has reached base in 21 straight games for the Cardinals.

Junior first baseman Jonathan Gonzales leads the Islanders with a .314 batting average, eight home runs and 27 RBI. Freshman outfielder Jordan Lee is just behind at .313 for the Islanders who are hitting .254 as a team.




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