Colonels and Cardinals square off in final home series

GO CARDINALS <b>V.J. Bunner</b>
V.J. Bunner

May 15, 2013

BEAUMONT – With the Southland Conference Tournament just a week away and seeding left unresolved, the Lamar baseball team will look to close out its 2013 regular season in style as Nicholls makes the trek to Vincent-Beck Stadium for a three-game set.

Depending on the outcome of the series, the Cardinals (34-17, 13-11 SLC) can finish as high as the third seed and as low as the seventh seed. Nicholls, on the other hand, will be looking to secure a spot in next week’s field. The Colonels (24-27, 8-16 SLC) currently trail McNeese State by a game for the eighth seed.

The Last Meeting
April 22, 2012
Thibodaux, La.
Lamar offense explodes in 12-4 win at Nicholls
THIBODAUX, La. - Lamar's offense posted season highs in hits and runs Sunday at Didier Field, leading the Cardinals to a 12-4 series clinching win over Nicholls in a Southland Conference baseball game.

If Lamar is to be successful this weekend, the team will turn to its accomplished corps of seniors, a group playing in their last series in Beaumont. Led by Darian Johnson LU’s seven starting seniors in the line-up have combined for a .303 batting average. Johnson, whose 78 hits lead the Southland, also leads the team in average at .373 and runs batted in with 41. Both Brad Picha and Aaron Olivas have also been exceptional at knocking in runs, plating 38 apiece. Despite missing 10 games, V.J. Bunner has been the power in the line-up, slugging .507 with six home runs and 12 doubles to go along with his .309 average.

Prior to Friday night’s game, the group will be recognized in a special ceremony on the field. In addition to those mentioned, other players set to be honored include: Garret Autrey, Ben Coram, Andrew Dewey, Seth Dornak, Eric Harrington, Zach Luevanos and Trevor Swint.



Sam Bumpers, a junior, heads up the class of newcomers this season for the Cards, posting a .348 average with 17 doubles and three homers.

Both Johnson and Bumpers rank among the top five in the conference in batting average, and as a team, Lamar leads the statistic with an overall mark of .298. The Cards have also belted 109 doubles, which ranks 13th nationally.

On the mound, Jonathan Dziedzic will lead the charge on Thursday night. The junior has a 3.43 earned run average this season with 6-3 record. A left-hander out of Humble, Dziedzic became Lamar’s all-time strikeout leader earlier this season and currently ranks 14th nationally in the statistic with 94 in 89.1 innings of work.

Also starting for the Cards will be David Carver on Friday night and Will Hibbs on Saturday afternoon. Hibbs, a 6-7 freshman out of Friendswood, made his first career start a week ago, going four innings and allowing a pair of scores.

Defense has also played a large role in LU’s success this season. The team has committed just 40 errors in 50 games, a mark that exceeds every other SLC school by 10. The Cards currently lead the conference in fielding percentage at .980, ranking eighth nationally. The team has also turned a conference-best 51 double plays.

First pitch on both Thursday and Friday is set for 6:30 p.m., and Saturday’s game is slated to begin at 1 p.m. Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” will also be on hand all weekend as the organization has joined with Lamar Baseball in an effort to increase prostate cancer awareness.


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