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Lamar beats SFA on play at the plate

Cardinals start off second half of WAC play with 5-4 win over Lumberjacks

BEAUMONT, Texas — Senior Matthew McDonald threw a strike to home plate with two out in the bottom of the ninth cutting down Skylar Jacko trying to score the potential tying run. The play preserved a 5-4 victory for the Cardinals (23-15/10-6 WAC).

The Cardinals finished the night scoring their five runs on eight hits, with runs coming in the fifth (2) and eighth (3). SFA ended the game with four runs on 10 hits.

Three Cardinals finished the night with two hits. Ethan Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBIs, while Matthew McDonald went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Kelby Weyler was 2-for-5 with a run scored.

Junior Braxton Douthit (6-1) took the mound and gave LU another quality start. The junior went 6.1 innings allowing one run on four hits, with seven strikeouts. He was one of three pitchers to take the mound Friday for the Cardinals.

Joe Todd (1-5) got the start for SFA and went 6.0 innings allowing the two runs – both earned – on five hits, but he was hurt by six walks on the night. He took the loss for the Lumberjacks.

The game was scoreless heading into the third inning when the Lumberjacks managed to scratch out a run. SFA got greedy in the inning trying to plate another on a single off the bat of Clayton Loranger but Durand charged the ball and threw it home beating the baserunner by two steps to end the inning.

The lead remained at one until the bottom half of the fifth inning with the Cardinals answered with two. After a loading the bases with two outs, the Cardinals drew a walk from Josh Blankenship to score the first run. The second run came just moments later off the bat of Ruiz. The Cardinals’ third baseman singled to center scoring McDonald.

After Dallas came on in the eighth to induce an inning-ending double play to thwart a potential rally, the LU offense responded in kind. Blankenship was walked to lead off the inning and he was brought home moments later when Ruiz tripled to right field. The SFA right fielder made a diving attempt at the ball and whiffed and it rolled to the wall to give LU a 3-1 lead. Ruiz came around four pitches later when LU head coach Will Davis sent Kyle Harper in to pinch hit. Harper drove the ball down the left field line for a ground rule double. The Cardinals finished the inning by scoring three runs on three hits to take a 5-1 lead into the ninth.

The Cardinals’ three-run inning proved to be key as the Lumberjacks tried to mount a rally in the ninth. SFA scored three runs on four hits but was unable to score the game-tying run due to McDonald’s accurate throw from left. Despite the three-run ninth Dallas finished with his seventh save of the season.

The Cardinals return to Vincent-Beck Stadium Saturday for game two of the series. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. There will be a special first pitch as Tim Erickson (2005-08) – former LU all-time saves leader will be on hand to pitch to Dallas – the Cardinals current saves leader.

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