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Lamar drops Southland Tournament opener against top seed Abilene Christian

Cardinals strand 13 baserunners in loss to ACU

HAMMOND, La. — Lamar University stranded 13 runners in their Southland Conference tournament opener, falling to top-seed Abilene Christian, 7-1, Wednesday afternoon at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.

Big Red finished the day with eight hits and drew seven walks but couldn’t come up with the key hit when they needed it. The Cardinals stranded multiple baserunners in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings, including a bases loaded situation in the 6th.

“We had a lot of good at-bats to get into those situations, but we didn’t have a lot of leadoff guys on today,” said LU head coach Will Davis who guided the Cardinals to their first playoff appearance since 2017. “The combination of that, to go along with waiting until two outs to get guys on and needing a big hit really hurt us.

“We only struck out four times, so it wasn’t like we were getting carved up. That’s just how baseball goes sometimes. We were putting the bat on the ball just couldn’t find the holes,” added Davis.

Junior Trevin Michael (6-3) took the hill for LU but had to be pulled after 3.1, allowing five runs – four earned – on five hits with three strikeouts. The All-Southland selection from Piedmont, Okla., struck out four Wildcats on a warm day in Hammond.

Michael was one of three Cardinals to pitch Wednesday as Joe Buckendorff came on in relief of Michael. He surrendered one run on one hit with a walk and a strikeout in 2.1 innings. Max Mize pitched the final 2.1 allowing one run on two hits.

The Wildcats countered with Tyler Morgan (3-3) who pitched 5.0 innings to get the win. Morgan allowed one run on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

LU got on the scoreboard in the first inning with some two-out damage. With runners on first and second, senior Anthony Quirion singled an 0-1 pitch right back up the middle to plate the first run of the game. Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last long as ACU stopped Michael’s scoreless streak at 22.2 with a three-run shot to left off the bat of Hunter Gieser in the 2nd. The Wildcats took advantage of a passed ball and an outfield error to tack on two more runs third.

Buckendorff came on in relief for the Cardinals in the 4th and worked his way out of a minor jam. He kept ACU off the scoreboard until a solo shot in the sixth.

Big Red had opportunities in the next three innings, including a bases loaded situation in the 6th but never managed to get the key hit to start the rally. The Wildcats tacked on their final run in the 8th for the final score.

The Cardinals will now have to fight their way through the loser’s bracket to advance. LU returns to the diamond Thursday at 9 a.m. to face Sam Houston. The Bearkats dropped a 4-3 decision to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the first game of the tournament to fall into the loser’s bracket.