LU gets past rocky start, takes 5-2 win over TSU
BEAUMONT, Texas – The game started rocky, but a home run from Reid Russell helped settle it and Lamar University pitching took over when the Cardinals defeated Texas Southern, 5-2, at Vincent-Beck Stadium Wednesday in non-conference baseball action.
LU’s (10-8) starter Brent Janak surrendered two runs in the first inning on four hits and a leadoff walk, but by the time Janak took the hill again he was tied at 2-2 on Russell’s long ball over the left center wall. Cole Coker drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the first, and Russell – who was in the three-hole of the lineup for the first time this season – blasted a three ball, one strike pitch.
“Texas Southern came out swinging today, and we knew they would because they are a well-coached team,” said head coach Will Davis. “They jumped on us for a couple of runs to start with a few tough hits, but after Reid’s homer we settled it a little.
“The most important takeaway from today is our pitching,” he said. “After (the Tigers) got their two runs, we put up eight zeros and did what we needed to win the game.”
The Tigers fell to 4-12 on the season.
Four pitchers took the hill for the Cardinals, and combined they only gave up two hits and walked three in the final eight innings of the contest. Janak (2-0) took the victory because of a predetermined inning count. He pitched three frames and gave up five total hits and struck out three.
He ended his long frame with a punch out, and the followed that with another strikeout to open the second. His final inning of work was a perfect one.
Brett Brown followed with three near-perfect frames. His lone baserunner was via a walk in the fourth. He pitched perfect fifth and sixth innings, and two of his three strikeouts were in his final frame. Galen Andrews took over in the seventh. He gave up a single, but stranded the runner at third base.
Jimmy Johnson was the final pitcher of the game, and earned a six-out save, his second save of the season. He gave up a single and walk, but the Tigers could not scratch one across on him.
Russell finished the game with three runs batted in, his final came in the eighth inning as insurance on a sacrifice fly that scored Cutter McDowell. McDowell reached on a walk, took second on a fielder’s choice and got to third on an infield error.
It was Russell’s second three-RBI contest and third multi-RBI game.
LU’s third run was in second inning on a RBI-single to left field from McDowell that scored Mitch Andrews, who reached on one of his three walks on the day.
LU pushed it out to 4-2 in the sixth inning. Payton Robertson led the frame off with a single through the right side. He took second base on a wild pitch and third with a groundout from Brendan Satran. McDowell drew a walk, and Robertson scored after Coker hustled down the line on a ground ball that kept TSU from rolling a double play.
The Cardinals put up seven hits on the day, Russell’s homer was the only extra base hit. Silvers led the way on a 2-for-3 day and one walk. McDowell, Coker, Russell, Adames and Robertson were responsible for the other five base knocks. With his single, Adames pushed his on-base streak to 26 contests.
Led by Andrews, LU drew nine walks from the Tigers. Andrews had three, followed by two from Cutter McDowell.
TSU starter Anthony Martinez (0-3) lasted only 2/3 of an inning. He surrendered two runs on two hits and two walks. Jamie Vazquez (0-1) took the loss on 2 1/3 frames with two hits and three walks.
Up next for Lamar is another league series on the road, this one at Southeastern Louisiana. That series is the final of three-straight weekend series away from Vincent-Beck Stadium. First pitch against the Lions is slated for 6 p.m. Friday night.