HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Lamar University Baseball was not able to find that early timely hit all while Sam Houston State claimed seven runs with two outs Friday night when the Bearkats downed the Cardinals 9-4 in the Southland Conference opener at Don Sanders Stadium.
Lamar (8-6, 0-1 Southland Conference) was 1-of-7 with runners in scoring position through the first seven frames, the lone run batted in was off of Robin Adames’ bat with a one-out single to left that scored Cole Coker from third base in the third inning. At the time, the score tied the contest after Sam Houston State (9-5, 1-0) opened it up with a two-out run in the bottom of the second.
LU eventually broke through and tried to make it interesting in the eighth with back-to-back hits from Robin Adames and Bryndan Arredondo. Adames punched a two-out double to left center, which scored Trey Silvers from third base. Silvers reached on a walk and advanced on a wild pitch and passed ball. Bryndan Arredondo followed with a two-run blast over the left field walk. The homer was his second of the season.
The Bearkats used a huge five-run fifth inning to pull away and move a 3-1 lead to 8-1, and the rally was started on two-out hit by pitch issued to Andrew Fregia – who was 2-for-2 with two extra base hits at the time. SHSU capitalized with five straight hits, including a double from Blake Chisolm. Riley McKnight had the big and final blow of the frame with a two-run single through the left side.
Tanner Driskill (1-2) took the loss and allowed eight runs, all earned, on 11 hits and two walks. His first walks of the season came in the first inning with two outs, and ended his string of 20 1/3 innings without a walk on the year. Brent Janak came on to relieve him in the fifth, and pitched 3.1 frames with one run allowed on two hits and a walk.
Janak’s inning were big and kept LU from working in another arm.
The Cardinals had Heath Donica (3-1) where they wanted him with 61 pitches through three innings, but he settled in with a 1-2-3 fourth frame. He gave up a double to Trey Silvers in the fifth, but stranded him there, and worked perfect innings in the sixth and seventh.
Donica pitched seven innings, allowed one run on seven hits and no walks. The senior struck out nine batters.
The Cardinals finished the contest with nine hits and stranded six on base, three in scoring position. The four Cardinal RBI were split among Adames and Arredondo, each with two. The Bearkats racked up 13 hits, 10 with two outs, and stranded seven on the bags.
Coker and Adames each led LU at the plate on 2-for-4 nights. Coker had a double and run scored, and Adames had two RBI and extended his active team-high on-base streak to 22 games. Reid Russell and Silvers were each 1-of-3, Russell had a single and was plunked and Silvers doubled and was walked.
Fregia led the Kats with three hits and three runs. Robie Rojas and Taylor Beene each had two hits, and all three recorded at least one RBI.
The two will square off again Saturday at 3 p.m. Jace Campbell (1-0, 1.93) will get the start on the mound for the Cardinals. The finale will be at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.