HAMMOND, La. – Carson Lance had his longest outing on the mound this season, but the Lamar University baseball team was not able to back him Saturday when it fell to Southeastern Louisiana 4-1 and dropped the Southland Conference series at Pat Kenelly Stadium.
Lance lasted 7 2/3 innings against the Lions (14-4, 5-0 Southland), his longest outing of the year by two innings. He gave up all four of Southeastern’s runs Saturday on four hits and three walks, but he helped save a Cardinals (10-10, 0-5) bullpen that had to run through four relievers Friday night.
SLU’s starter Corey Gaconi hurled nine innings with just one run allowed in the game, which was Cutter McDowell’s leadoff home run to right field. Gaconi worked around six hits and walked none.
Three of LU’s base hits were in the sixth inning, in which the Cardinals left the bases loaded at that time down 3-1. Grant DeVore led off the inning with a bunt single and took second on Cole Coker’s one-out single to right field. Reid Russell followed Coker with an infield single, but Gaconi survived with a fly out and strikeout.
McDowell’s home run was the 12th time that LU has scored in the first inning this season, but only the fourth time it’s lost in those games. He took two balls and a strike before he unloaded on the fourth pitch of the at-bat.
Reigning Louisville Slugger National Hitter of the Week Taylor Schwarner gave the Lions the 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the first with a double to left that chased home Carson Crites and Drew Avans. Schwarner added another in the bottom of the third when he lifted a sacrifice fly for Ryan Byers.
Byers chased home Scottie Sanders on a double to right field, two batters after Sanders himself doubled.
Brett Brown took over for Lance on the hill with two outs in the seventh. He tossed seven pitches in a walk to Sanders and strikeout of Brennan Breaud.
Russell and DeVore led the Cardinals with two hits apiece in LU’s six-hit outing. McDowell and Coker collected the other two. Russell was 2-of-4 and DeVore was 2-of-3. Robin Adames was held off the bags for the first time since the 2016 season. His 27-game reached base streak was snapped.
The Cardinals will try to avoid the sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. when the two teams square off again. Jace Campbell (1-1, 3.86 earned run average) will get the ball on the mound for Lamar. It will be his fourth start of the season in as many weekends.