LU struggles to get big hit in 2-0 loss

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Cardinals never could find the one big hit it needed Friday night when the Lamar University baseball was shutout for the first time in the 2017 campaign, falling 2-0 at New Orleans in Southland Conference action at Maestri Field.

Both starting pitchers dealt on the hill, and UNO’s (18-13, 7-6 Southland) Shawn Semple (5-1) was able to dance out of danger several times. He finished the day with eight scoreless innings of work, and gave up only five hits and three walks. He struck out nine.

LU’s (17-14, 5-8) Carson Lance (4-4) was also very good, but took the loss with just one run allowed in seven innings on four hits and four walks. Ryan Johnson surrendered the other run, unearned, and Ryan Cawthon finished the game with one scoreless inning.

The Cardinals had their chances to score, including a bases-loaded, one out jam for Semple in the first inning, but the right-hander worked out of it with back-to-back strikeouts. McDowell led off that inning with a hit-by-pitch, and Robin Adames followed with a double to right field before Fleischman loaded the bases after he reached on an error.

Bryndan Arredondo led off the second inning with a single, but two fly outs and a strikeout ended that threat.

McDowell reached on a one-out single to right center in the fifth inning, and eventually reached third with two stolen bases. Reid Russell walked and reached second, but again back-to-back strikeouts ruined the chances. Chad Fleischman reached on a one-out, eighth inning single and worked to third base with a single from Cole Coker, but Semple again used a strikeout to end the inning.

UNO used a leadoff walk in the third inning to gain the 1-0 lead. He was driven in on a two-out triple to right field from Sam Capielano. The second and final run of the game was scored on an error in the eighth inning. Dakota Dean and Tristan Clarke had back-to-back singles to start the inning, but a throwing error on the field on a sacrifice bunt allowed Dean to scurry home.

Martin Reeves earned his second save of the season with one perfect inning.

The Cardinals will try to even the series at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon. LU’s Jimmy Johnson (2-3, 2.45 earned run average) will face off with left-hander Bryan Warzek (4-0, 1.88).