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Lamar cruises in series finale to sweep over Akron

Lamar returns to action on Wednesday with the close of its five-game homestand, hosting Prairie View A&M. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

BEAUMONT, Texas —  Wrapping up a sweep of the University of Akron (0-8) on Sunday, Lamar University baseball improved to 6-5 on the year and 5-2 at home on another total team effort. The Cardinals defeated the Zips 5-1 with LU starter Austin Faith allowing just two hits and five total base runners and the Cardinal bats hammering Akron for 10 hits.

"Austin returned to himself in this game," said head coach Will Davis. "He attacked them from the outset with his fastball and was overpowering them. He and [Zach] Bravo will just get better and better because they're so talented, and it is a bit of a leap from the junior college level to the Division 1 level. As they learn that and adjust, they'll just continue to improve."

Faith pitched four and two-third innings on Sunday and allowed just two hits, two walks, one earned run, and a hit-by-pitch while striking out two. He at one point retired 12 straight from the first inning to the first batter of the fifth. He was relieved by Dylan Johnson who earned his second win in relief this season, pitching two and a third innings with no hits, no walks, and two strikeouts. The only baserunner he allowed was a hit-by-pitch in the seventh, but a double play struck down that Zip. Christian Grigsby and Jack Dallas each pitched one inning of relief to close out the game, and both pitchers struck out one apiece while allowing no walks or hits.

Lamar hopped on Akron early with a lead-off single from Avery George, stretching his hit streak to 10 games. The fleet-footed junior from Humble, Texas, reached second on a bunt single by Cole Girouard, but a double play got George and JC Correa. A single by Anthony Quirion scored Girouard, and after one Lamar led 1-0.

The Cardinals struck again in the bottom of the second. Kelby Weyler singled to short and reached second on a 4-3 grounder from Reese Durand, and a stolen base and a fielder's choice with no outs from Logan LeJeune scored Weyler. George singled again with two outs, but he was stranded on a liner to right. After two, Lamar led 2-0.

A lead-off walk of Correa reached second on a stolen base, and a two-out single by Weyler to center field brought Correa home to give LU one more. Unfortunately Weyler was caught stealing in a 1-3-6 play, and after three Lamar led 3-0.

Durand wore one to lead off the fourth, and he reached second on a single through the left by LeJeune. Another single, this time from Rhett McCall to third, loaded the bases for George. He hit into a fielder's choice that burned McCall at second but pushed LeJeune to third and scored Durand, and a double play ended the fourth with Lamar up 4-0.

Akron got its lone run of the game in the top of the fifth. A lead-off single snapped Faith's streak of 12 retired Zips, and a bunt sac put the runner on second. Two walks loaded the bases with one out, and a sac fly scored one for Akron. Johnson took over for Faith and got a 6-3 fielder's choice to get the runner on second and keep LU ahead by three.

A solo shot from Quirion, his second homer of the year, was the final run of the game. It came in the lead-off spot of the fifth on a 2-0 count and traveled roughly 350 feet over the left field fence. Through five innings Lamar led 5-1, and though Lamar threatened in the sixth and eighth, no more runs would score.

Lamar returns to action on Wednesday with the close of its five-game homestand, hosting Prairie View A&M. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday. After Wednesday's game the Cards will travel to Nacogdoches, Texas, to open Southland Conference play at Stephen F. Austin.