Cardinals fall in series opener at McNeese
LAKE CHARLES, La. – Cardinal pitching worked in and out of danger all night, but McNeese broke through four for eight combined runs in the sixth and seventh innings and downed Lamar University baseball with a 10-2 win in the Southland Conference series opener at Joe Miller Ballpark Thursday night.
Tied at 2-2 at the start of the bottom of the sixth, a leadoff base knock from Mitchell Rogers started a rally for the Cowboys (35-17, 21-7 Southland). He was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt before McNeese had runners on first and second due to a walk issued to Robbie Podorsky. Ricky Ramirez singled home one, and starter Carson Lance (7-6) was pulled from the game.
Brett Brown came on, and Matt Gallier drew walk that loaded the bases for back-to-back RBI-singles that pushed the score to 5-2. Ryan Cawthon took over on the hill and retired the side with two groundout right back at him.
Lance pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up five runs (four earned). The Pokes picked up seven hits and five walks off of him, and he struck out five.
The Cowboys put up another five runs in the seventh inning, largely on a bases-clearing triple from Matt Gallier. Gallier hit a towering fly ball to center field that Vincent Dellocono lost in the lights. Provenzano doubled to send home Gallier and Dustin Duhon singled home Provenzano.
It took no time for the Cardinals (32-22, 15-13) to jump on the board. Cleanup hitter Bryndan Arredondo blasted his fifth homer of the season in the first inning, and his two-run shot scored Grant DeVore – who led off the game with a double. McNeese responded with two of their own in the bottom of the frame, helped by an error on the infield.
After Podorsky singled and Ramirez walked, Joe Provenzano reached on an error with one out. Shane Selman, McNeese’s RBI leader, followed that with a single to left field that scored two. Lance worked out of the rest of that jam with a popped up bunt and strikeout.
Lamar’s offense was held quiet for the most of the night as well. Of LU’s five hits, three were from Bryndan Arredondo – his sixth three-hit game and 15th multi-hit game. DeVore’s double and a Trey Silvers single in the ninth were the only other hits. The Cowboys only walked four.
Big Red tried to start a rally in the top of the sixth inning with a one out walk to Robin Adames and an Arredondo single, but a double play erased that threat.
McNeese out hit the Cardinals 15-4, led by a 3-of-5 day from Selman and two-hit days from four other Cowboys. Selman and Gallier each had three RBIs and Ramirez had three runs scored.
Cawthon pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on five hits. He was relieved in the seventh by Ryan Johnson, who closed the game with scoreless 1 1/3 frames.
Austin Sanders (7-2) earned the win on seven innings of work with just the two runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out four. Aidan Anderson closed out the game on scoreless two frames with one hit and walk allowed.
With the loss and scores from around the conference, the Cardinals are in a four-way tie for fifth, and New Orleans trails one-game behind in ninth place. Lamar will try to even the series Friday at 6 p.m. Right-hander Jace Campbell (3-4, 4.17 earned run average) will face off with Rhett Deaton (8-2, 3.64).
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