HAMMOND, La. – Down 6-1 at the start of the sixth inning, Lamar University rallied back with one in that sixth and three in the seventh to get within a run, but Southeastern Louisiana held off the Cardinals when it took at 6-5 victory in Southland Conference baseball action at Pat Kenelly Field Friday night.
The Cardinals (10-9, 0-4 Southland) had runners on first and second in the top of the ninth, but Josh Green survived with a strikeout to end the game. The Lions (13-4, 4-0) built a lead in the early innings – using a few early walks.
Cutter McDowell, cut the 6-1 lead down with a single into left field and pushed across Payton Robertson, who reached on a two-out walk. Grant DeVore singled behind Robertson and moved him up to second base.
Big Red rallied on three runs in the top of the seventh, with the big blow on Robin Adames’ first home run of the season, a two-run shot that scored Reid Russell. Russell led off the inning with a walk. With one out, Bryndan Arredondo drew a base on balls and Chad Fleischman followed with an error on third baseman Taylor Schwarner that put runners on the corners.
Chaneng Varela notched his third pinch hit base knock with a single to left field that chased home Arredondo.
To start, LU scored a run in the first inning for the 11th game this year. McDowell led off the game with a double to center, and Adames capitalized with a two-out single into left center. The Lions quickly recovered with Ryan Byers leadoff home run in the bottom of the first that tied it.
Adames, who moved his reached base streak to 27 games, had three RBI on a 2-for-4 day.
Mac Sceroler (4-0) worked around a leadoff single in the second inning, and held LU scoreless when a leadoff walk came back to get Big Red’s starter, Tanner Driskill (1-3), in the bottom of the frame. Driskill walked Derrick Mount, and a Jacob Seward single and another walk to Scottie Sanders loaded the bases. Evan Pace singled up the middle and knocked in both Mount and Seward, Sanders was caught trying to take third.
Driskill took his second-straight loss on 3 2/3 innings pitched with four hits allowed and three walks, he allowed three runs. His three walks were the most he’s given up in a game all season, and ran his season total up to just five.
The Cardinals had a chance to tie it up or add more in the fifth, but a very nice play from shortstop Brennan Breaud and Mount at first saved the Lions. Grant DeVore led off the inning by getting plunked by a pitch, and took second on a walk issued to Cole Coker. Adames walked with two outs, but Silver lined his pitch to Breaud, who had to knock it down and make a quick play to first.
Southeastern added on with another crooked number in the bottom of the fifth. Up 4-1 after Schwarner’s single through the left side, Seward put down a sacrifice bunt that scored two runners in Schwarner and Carson Crites.
Sceroler earned the win with five innings of work. He gave up one run on four hits and three walks, and the right-hander only had five walk in his previous four starts. Green picked up his second save of the season on a scoreless inning with two hits and a walk.
The Cardinals worked through five pitchers in the game. Nathan Gabryszwski, had the longest relief outing in the contest. The freshman worked three hitless frames and gave up three walks four strikeouts. Brett Brown appeared for one inning with just a strikeout.
McDowell joined Adames with two hits in the game, he was 2-of-5 with a RBI and run scored. The two had four hits combined in the Cardinals’ 11-hit contest, and the Cardinals drew seven walks. Every batter in the top six of LU’s order had at least a hit, and combined for eight.
The two programs square off again Saturday at 2 p.m. Carson Lance (3-1, 2.66 earned run average) will take the hill for the Cardinals and will be opposed by Corey Gaconi (1-0, 3.38).