Cardinals break through with a seven-run fifth to down SU

BATON ROUGE, La. – It was a well-pitch ball game on both sides to start, but Lamar University baseball broke through with two outs in the seven-run fifth inning and put the game away when the Cardinals defeated Southern University 10-1 Wednesday afternoon in a non-conference, midweek tilt.

Tied at 1-1, Chaneng Varela ripped a double through the left side that scooted under a diving shortstop and rolled deep into left center field. His double scored Trey Silvers – who reached on a one-out walk – from first base and put the Cardinals (29-21) up 2-1. Chad McKinney kept it going with a double that banged off the left field wall and scored Varela, and moved to third base on back-to-back walks to Phil Ingram and Vincent Dellocono.

Following the two walks that loaded the bags, Grant DeVore and Reid Russell each drew bases-loaded walks to make it 5-1 before Bryndan Arredondo unloaded on another wall-banging double that cleaned the bags and made it 8-1.

“Chaneng got us a big two-out hit and was followed by Chad McKinney’s. After that we put together some great at-bats with four-straight walks that put us in good position,” said head coach Will Davis. “It was good to finally blow it open because we stranded some runners in the first few innings.”

Lamar tacked on two more in the seventh inning, aided by two walks and an error. Dellocono and DeVore led off the inning with walks, and Russell reached on an error by second baseman Robinson Mateo. Pinch hitter Mitch Andrews smoked a liner off the pitcher, but Mateo was able to gather and throw to get him at first, but he earned an RBI when Dellocono scored. DeVore made it 10-1 when he scored on a bouncer hit back to the pitcher from Trey Silvers.

The Cardinals jumped on the board first with a run in the opening inning, the 24th game they’ve scored at least one run in the first frame. DeVore led off the game with a single into left field and Russell followed with a screaming double down the left field line. Arredondo – who totaled four RBI in the game for the third time this season – took advantage with a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Jaguars quickly answered with a run in the bottom of the frame. With two outs, John Pope laced a double to the center field wall and scored on back-to-back singles from Dondrayas Harris and Mateo.

Nathan Gabryszwski started on the hill for the Cardinals. The freshman was limited to two innings (predetermined), and gave up one run on four hits and two walks. He stuck out three. Ryan Cawthon (1-0) earned the win for LU with 2 2/3 scoreless innings pitched. The senior allowed only one hit and struck out three.

From there, the Cardinals sent out four pitchers to finish the game, and all worked just one inning. Galen Andrews was perfect in his frame and Brett Brown walked two but stranded them. Jimmy Johnson walked a batter and surrendered a hit, but stranded both runners. Driskill was perfect in his frame with two strikeouts.

“Cawthon came on in a huge spot. The game would’ve been a whole lot different if didn’t get us out of that,” said Davis. “He pitched great and everyone else did following him.”

Cawthon took over in the third inning with the bases loaded and one out. He struck out both Ryan Watts (looking) and Jacob Juge (swinging) to end that jam.

Jacob Synder (3-2) took the loss with 4 2/3 innings, and surrendered five runs on seven hits and five walks. He was pulled prior to Dellocono’s walk that loaded the bags in the fifth inning. Josh Sparks took over for him and gave up three runs without recording an out. J’Markus George finished out the fifth and totaled 2 1/3 innings in the contest.

In total, Southern rolled out five pitchers.

Led by two hits each from DeVore (2-for-3) and McKinney (2-of-5), Lamar outhit Southern 9-8. Russell, Arredondo, Varela, Ingram and Dellocono all chipped in the other base knocks. DeVore scored three runs and Dellocono two, and Arredondo led the way with four RBIs.

Lamar, locked in a three-way tie for seventh place with New Orleans and Nicholls, will open a jam-packed weekend series with Stephen F. Austin, starting at 6 p.m. Friday.