HUNSTVILLE, Texas – Carson Lance got out to a great start on the mound, but the offense had a tough time with Sam Houston’s starter when the Lamar University baseball team fell to the Bearkats 3-1 in a pitcher’s duel in the Southland Conference opening series finale at Don Sanders Stadium.

The loss gave the Bearkats (11-5, 3-0 Southland) a sweep of the Cardinals (8-8, 0-3) in the series.

Lance (3-1) was perfect through three innings, and Sam Houston’s first base runner was its leadoff man Bryce Johnson on a walk in the fourth. Johnson stole second, but Lance worked to strand him there with a foul pop up, fly ball and strikeout.

The junior walked another leadoff batter in the fifth inning, and that one worked around and scored. Blake Chisolm was that walk, but was followed with a strikeout to Hunter Hearn. Hunter Southerland drew a walk to put men on first and second, but was rolled up in a near double play that Taylor Beene was fast enough to avoid. Pinch hitter Taylor Harp drove in the run on a single to left center.

Lance finished his day with 5 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on two hits, walked six and struck out six. He allowed his first hit in the fifth inning.

The winning run came on a bases-loaded walk in the sixth inning. Three walks and a single in that frame netted SHSU that run.

Lamar had its chance to score tie it up in the eighth inning, but a great relay from Bearkat shortstop Beene ended that chance. Chad Fleischman drew a one out walk in the eighth before pinch hitter Cutter McDowell blasted one to the center field wall. With Fleischman charging for home, Johnson hurled one to Beene who turned and tossed it home for the out.

Big Red out hit Sam Houston State, 4-3, but the Kats were able to draw six walks in the game to LU’s two. The middle of the Cardinals’ order had three of the four hits, and McDowell had the other.

Galen Andrew relived Lance and was perfect in 1 1/3 innings. Jimmy Johnson closed out the contest with an inning and gave up one run on one hit and a strikeout.

Hayden Wesneski (4-0) took the win in a four-hit contest through eight innings. He allowed LU’s only run and walked one. Nick Mikolajchak earned his fourth save, second of the series, on an inning with just a single walk allowed.

Lance Miles had two of Sam Houston’s three hits, pinch hitter Harp had the other.

Lamar returns home for two midweek games to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, against Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern, respectively. Both games are slated for 4 p.m. Big Red returns to Southland Conference play on the road at Southeastern Louisiana. That series wraps up a swing of three-straight weekends series on the road for LU.