BEAUMONT, Texas — Lamar University built a five-run lead after the first two innings and never looked back defeating Sam Houston, 8-2, Saturday afternoon at Vincent-Beck Stadium. Saturday’s victory secured LU’s fifth-straight series win to start the season.
Senior Adam Wheaton got the start Saturday and gave LU another strong outing. The Kalamazoo, Mich., native went 7.0 innings allowing just two runs – both earned – on four hits with a strikeout. He did surrender four walks but was able to pitch around the free bases due in large part to sparkling defense behind him.
Sophomore Zach Williams came on and pitched the game’s final two innings allowing just two hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Steven Beard pitched 6.0 for the Bearkats, and after giving up five runs in the first two innings settled into a groove. He finished the game allowing just the five runs – three earned – on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks. He was one of three Bearkats to pitch Saturday as Blaine Romero came on in the seventh and pitched 1.1 allowing three runs – two earned – on four hits with a strikeout and two walks.
The Cardinals (13-6/5-0 WAC) finished the day with 11 hits from six different players, as four Cardinals had multi-hit games. Senior Chase Kemp led the way going 3-for-3 with a home run (his second of the year), four runs scored and a walk. Junior Josh Blankenship went 2-for-4 with a run scored and four RBIs, while Kelby Weyler was 2-for-4 with two runs driven in.
Big Red wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the first. With runners on first and second and just one out, Blankenship singled to short plating Kemp. Two batters later, Weyler singled through the right side scoring Reese Durand. Matthew McDonald drove in the final run of the inning on a single to center.
After shutting down Sam Houston in their half of the second, due in large part to a diving catch from Durand in left, the Cardinals went back to work in the second inning. The Cardinals had two runners on after an error and Kemp getting hit by a pitch. After moving the runners over to second and third, Blankenship came back to the plate and drove a 3-2 pitch into center field.
After giving up the five runs, Beard settled down for the ‘Kats and kept LU off the scoreboard for the next four innings. During that time, Sam Houston trimmed the deficit down to three, following a Carlos Contreras home run in the sixth inning.
LU was able to answer back with two more runs in the seventh and one in the eighth as the Cardinals’ pitching staff did the rest.
LU returns to Vincent-Beck Stadium Sunday looking for the series sweep. First pitch for game three is slated for 1 p.m.