BEAUMONT – As the Lamar baseball team heads into its final six games of the regular season, Southland Tournament positioning will be on the line as the Cardinals look to secure a spot in the league’s eight-team field.
LU, which is slated to face Southland-leading Texas A&M-Corpus Christi this weekend, currently sits seventh in the league with a 13-11 record. The Cards lead eighth-place Oral Roberts by one game and sit two ahead of both Central Arkansas and Houston Baptist. ORU will be taking on 13th-place Abilene Christian, and UCA is set to face 12th-place Incarnate Word. HBU will face off against second-place Sam Houston State.
Next weekend, the Cards will hit the road for ORU for the season’s final home series.
If the Red and White are to be successful, the team will likely be looking to get back to its offensive prowess at the plate. Sam Bumpers, who is hitting a scorching .471 in league games this season, is one of five regulars in the line-up to boast of a .300 or better overall average. Jude Vidrine, a .322 hitter, is among the nation’s leaders in walks with 42, and he carries an eye-popping .454 on-base percentage.
Brandon Provost, Kevin Santana and Kyle Markum round out the .300 hitters, but both Reed Seeley and Jacoby Middleton aren’t to be overlooked either as both enter the weekend hitting at better than a .290 clip to go along with 63 combined walks.
As a team, LU (28-20) is hitting .293, good enough for second in the Southland, with a league-best .387 on-base percentage.
On the mound, the Cards will give David Carver the start on Friday night. The 6-foot-4 southpaw is coming off an impressive performance last Friday, tossing six scoreless innings and surrendering six hits without issuing a walk. The senior has been very strong as of late, giving up just two runs over his last three starts.
Chase Angelle will be looking to bounce back from his roughest outing of the season. The southpaw out of Orange has been the most consistent arm for the Cards this season, recording 10 quality starts in just 12 appearances, posting a 3.62 earned run average and 4-5 record in the process. Will Hibbs is the final scheduled starter, and he’ll take his 4-3 record and 3.92 ERA into Sunday’s affair.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is 28-21 on the year with a 17-9 league mark. The Islanders are coming off a sweep at Abilene Christian this past weekend and will be aiming for a fifth consecutive Southland series win.
First pitch at Chapman Field on both Friday and Saturday is set for 6 p.m. Sunday’s showdown will begin at 1 p.m.