BEAUMONT, Texas – A busy weekend is on tap for the Lamar University baseball program when it welcomes Stephen F. Austin into Vincent-Beck Stadium for a huge three-game Southland Conference series that starts Friday night at 6 p.m.
MobilOil is the weekend’s sponsor, and the group will be handing out caps at Friday night’s game. For Saturday’s 2 o’clock contest, Lamar (29-21, 12-12 Southland) will honor several groups in pregame ceremonies. Along with its annual reunion, the LU Baseball Players Association will recognize the 1967 Cardinal Baseball team before welcoming five members into its inaugural hall of fame class. That class features five greats, Kevin Millar, Bruce Aven, David Bernsen, Rick Nesloney and Harold Kincaid.
Prior to LU’s Sunday 1 p.m. game, the Cardinals will say their goodbyes to 12 seniors being honored as a part of its Senior Day festivities. The Voice of the Cardinals Harold Mann will have the call on KLVI 560AM Friday and Sunday, and will be featured on the Big Red Sports Network for all three games.
On the field, the Cardinals will be in a battle fighting for a spot in the eight-team Southland Conference Tournament. At the start of the weekend, they sit in a three-way tie for seventh place with Nicholls and New Orleans – who play each other this weekend – and sit two games behind the sixth-place Lumberjacks (26-23, 14-10).
Lamar, riding a three-game win streak, enters after a big non-conference series win at Oklahoma State. Stephen F. Austin fell in a three-game set at Nicholls, and the series at LU is wraps up six-straight road contests – all in conference play.
Right-handed pitcher Carson Lance (6-5, 3.47 earned run average) will keep his Friday role on the mound, but after him the Cardinals shift their pitching rotation. Previously the midweek starter, lefty Ryan Johnson (3-1, 5.95) will move up to Saturday after pitching the Sunday contest at Oklahoma State. Sunday’s starter is still to be announced.
Stephen F. Austin will send out lefty Patrick Ledet (6-4, 4.30) Friday night, right-hander Trevor Kiminski (3-3, 5.05) on Saturday and south paw Erik Nouis (2-3, 5.05) on Sunday.
In league games only, the Cardinals have a 4.33 team ERA, which is fifth in the league, and SFA is ninth with a 4.83 mark. Overall, LU has a 4.07 ERA over 438 innings of work with 198 earned runs and 366 strikeouts. SFA has an overall mark of 4.64 over 424.1 innings.
With Cutter McDowell out for the weekend due to an injury and Robin Adames out for Friday’s games, LU will look to unusual suspects to step up. Grant DeVore has answered the call in his last five games with a .556 (10-of-18) average, five runs and six runs batted in. Bryndan Arredondo, who is on a career-best nine-game hit streak and 21-game reached base streak, has been strong as well. During his nine-game hit streak, he has a .393 average (13-of-33) with eight driven in and three scores.
McDowell tops the Cardinals with a .367 batting average, followed by Adames’ mark. Arredondo hits at a .323 clip and Russell rounds out the .300 hitters with a .312 average. DeVore is on the cusp with a .293 mark. Both McDowell (46) and Russell (44) have runs that reach over 40 and Adames (44) and Silvers (43) have RBI totals over 40.
As a team, the Cardinals have a .287 batting average and scores 6.3 runs per game. The ‘Jacks are hitting .279 this season, led by Josh Evans’ conference-leading .405 batting average. Zac Michener is hitting .332 and Andrew Cole is at .315. Michener leads SFA with 42 runs scored and 45 RBI.
LU wraps up its season in a three-game series at rival and conference front runner McNeese in a series that starts at 6 p.m. on May 18. Though the Cardinals can’t clinch a spot in the league tournament this weekend, they will try to position themselves to clinch against the Cowboys.
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