BEAUMONT, Texas — Lamar University closed the regular season Saturday with its second series sweep in Southland Conference play defeating Houston Christian, 9-5, Saturday afternoon at Vincent-Beck Stadium. The Cardinals move to 32-21 overall and finish the year with a 13-11 conference record.
Big Red’s seeding in the conference tournament will not be official until the remainder of the league schedule is finished later in the day.
The Cardinals scored their nine runs on 11 hits with two errors, while HCU had five runs on 11 hits with an error. LU scored three in the first, one in the third, two in the fifth and three more in the eighth for their nine runs.
Brooks Caple (5-0) got the start for LU and went 4.0 innings allowing three runs – two earned – on five hits with a strike out and two walks. He was on a pre-determined pitch count so he gets credit for the win. He was one of three Cardinals to take the mound as senior Quinn Waterhouse pitched 1.1 of scoreless baseball allowing two hits and striking out one. Classmate Daniel Cole pitched the final 3.2 innings allowing two runs – one earned – on four hits with three Ks to earn his third save of the season.
Nine different Cardinals recorded hits Saturday led by Kanin Dodge’s three-hit performance (3-for-4, 4 RBIs, run). Dodge was one of six Cardinals to drive in a run, including senior Ryan Snell who hit his 17th home run of the season pulling within one of the school single-season record.
The Cardinals struck first with three runs on one hit in the top half of the first, but HCU answered with three-run inning of its own in third. As they have done all weekend, the Cards responded to HCU’s score by answering in the bottom half of the inning (with Snell’s solo home run).
The one-run lead held until the fifth inning when the Cardinals tacked on two more runs. After Kevin Bermudez led off the inning with a walk, he was moved to third on a double off the bat of River Orsak. Dodge then brought home both runs on a single to center.
Big Red put the game away for good in the eighth inning with another three-run inning. This time Dodge led off the inning with a single and eventually moved to third on an error. With runners on the corner, Ethan Ruiz doubled to right center scoring the first run of the inning. The other two runs came around on a Tanner Wilson single and a Bermudez double.
The Huskies closed the game with two runs in the ninth but it wasn’t enough as the Cardinals secured the victory for the sweep.
The Cardinals will now have to await the results from around the league to find out their seeding. The Southland Championships will begin Tuesday in a play-in game between the No. 6 and 7 seeded teams followed by the remaining five teams beginning Wednesday.