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Cards run rule Huskies, qualify for SLC Championships

Lamar hammers HCU in series opener

BEAUMONT, Texas — Lamar University used a seven-run seventh inning to put the series opener against Houston Christian out of reach. The Cardinals defeated HCU, 11-1, Thursday to lock up a spot in the Southland Conference Championships next week in Lake Charles, La.

The Cardinals scored 11 runs on 14 hits, but were charged with three errors on the day, while the Huskies scored a run on five hits with an error. The Cardinals scored two runs in the third to take the first lead of the game and then added to it with solo runs in the fourth and fifth innings and closed the game with seven runs in the seventh inning. HCU scored its lone run in the fourth.

Eight different Cardinals recorded hits Thursday led by multi-hit games from Ben MacNaughton (3-for-5, 2 runs), Kevin Bermudez (2-for-4, walk, 2 RBIs and 2 runs), Ryan Snell (3-for-5, 3 RBIs, run) and Kanin Dodge (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, run).

Jacob Ellis (4-4) gave LU 5.2 strong innings allowing just one earned run on five hits with eight strike outs and no walks to get the victory. Andres Perez and Quinn Waterhouse combined to pitch a 1.1 of scoreless baseball to close it out, with Waterhouse picking up his first save of the season.

Big Red jumped on the scoreboard first in the bottom half of the third inning. With two on and two out, Snell ambushed the first pitch he saw down the left field line scoring MacNaughton and Tanner Wilson. After the Huskies answered with a solo home run in the top for the fourth, LU got the run right back in the bottom half of the inning. With runners on second and third, Kirkland Banks grounded out to the right side scoring Kanin Dodge.

The Cardinals tacked on another run in the fifth inning before blowing the game opening in the seventh. Lamar (30-21/11-11 SLC) scored seven runs on six hits as 12 Cardinals came to the plate in the inning. Junior Peyton Sanderson got the game-winning hit with a single through the right side scoring Wilson to end the game.

With the victory, LU has assured itself of a spot in the conference championships, and now has the opportunity to try and improve its seeding. The Cardinals return to the diamond for Game 2 of the series Friday with first pitch slated for 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.


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