Middle innings provide spark LU needs to down GSU
BEAUMONT, Texas – Lamar University baseball used six runs in the middle innings to grab a lead and blow the game open when the Cardinals downed Grambling 11-2 at Vincent-Beck Stadium in non-conference action Tuesday night, in a rain-delayed contest.
Contributions came from all over the LU (19-15) order with no player scoring more than one run in the middle three innings and only Robin Adames multiple runs batted in the span. Grambling (11-21) tied the contest at 2-2 in the top of the third.
Cole Coker led off the fourth inning with a single up the middle. He advanced to third when Chad McKinney was plunked by a pitch and Grant DeVore reached on a bunt single, which loaded the bags. Coker scored on Phil Ingram’s single to right center. McKinney scored when Cutter McDowell drew a bases-loaded walk, and DeVore was the final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to right field from Adames.
LU added another in the fifth inning on a sac fly to right from McKinney that scored Trey Silvers from third base. Silvers led of the frame with a double to right center and took third base on a beautifully-placed bunt single by to the third base side by Brendan Satran.
Adames delivered his two-RBI double in the sixth and scored McDowell from third base and Russell from second. McDowell reached on a one-out hit by pitch and Russell poked one into center field that put men on first and second. On 2-2 pitch to Adames, both McDowell and Russell took off on a double steal that put both in scoring position, and Adames popped a double down the right field line.
“We had some really good at-bats and scored three innings in a row to get a 6-2 lead,” said head coach Will Davis. “The story in these midweek games is typically pitching. If you can hold the other team to two runs, you’ll win most your games.”
Once LU gained its lead in, it’s pitching shutdown the Tigers with no runs allowed in the final six innings. Brett Brown (1-0) entered the game before the lead was taken, but held GSU down for 2 ⅔ scoreless frames. The senior gave up three hits and no walks, and struck out four batters.
“Brett had some rocky outings in a row, but pitched really well at (New Orleans) and pitched really well tonight. It looks like he is starting to get back in to sync,” said Davis. “Ryan Cawthon is really getting better every time out, and is really tough on those right-handed hitters. It’s great to see a guy in his fifth year has found a little niche and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Ryan Cawthon took over in the seventh inning and worked 2 ⅓ scoreless, no-hit innings and struck out three batters to one walk. Tanner Driskill came with an out in the ninth and closed it out.
The Cardinals struck first with two runs on Chad Fleischman’s two-out double into left center with the bases loaded in the third inning. The junior chased home McDowell and Russell. McDowell reached with a two-out single, followed by a walk issued to Russell and single from Adames.
The Tigers responded with to in the top of the fourth with two runs, largely due to errors. Daniel Barnett led off the top of the inning with a single up the middle and Tray Bell drew a walk to put two on. Johan Mojica squared around to put down a bunt when Fleischman picked up the ball charging and put it just out of the reach of first baseman Trey Silvers. Barnett scored on the play and allowed Bell to get to third for Rafael Ramirez, who reached on an error in the next plate appearance.
“We didn’t play very good infield defense in that inning, but Brett was able to limit the damage,” said Davis. “It could have been a lot worse, but he held them there.”
Ryan Johnson started on the mound for the Cardinals. He worked two scoreless innings with two hits and one walk allowed. He was relieved by Nathan Gabryszwski for 1 ⅓ innings. Gabryszwski gave up two runs, one earned, on one hit and two walks.
“When we have enough pitching and are healthy, we can be very good,” said Davis. “We had five different guys go out there and hold the other team down.”
Grambling started Issac O’Bear, who pitched one perfect inning before he was pulled. Jonathan Reid gave up two runs in two innings when he took over in the second. Devin Washington (0-1) was tagged with the loss for three runs allowed in an inning of work.
Christian Marquez pitched two frames for the Tigers and gave up three runs on four hits, Marlon Pruitt finished the game with three unearned runs on a hit and two walks.
Both Adames and Silvers led the Cardinals with two hits apiece in an 11-hit team outing. McDowell was 1-for-1 with two runs and three walks, he reached in every plate appearance. Russell scored three runs and tied McDowell for the runs lead on the team, both have 33. Adames was 2-for-4 and knocked in three. He took over the team’s RBI lead at 30. Silvers was 2-of-5 with three RBI as well.
The Cardinals return to action on Thursday to open a three-game Southland Conference series against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Thursday’s contest is slated to start at 6 p.m. as well as Friday. The finale is scheduled to be played at 2 p.m. Saturday.
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