BEAUMONT, Texas — From Lamar Athletics
Dominating the game from the first pitch, Noah Sills threw arguably the best game of his Cardinal career Friday in Lamar University's 9-1 win over Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi at Vincent-Beck Stadium. The Cardinals (11-23, 3-13 SLC) scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to put the game well out of reach of the Islanders (24-13, 10-6 SLC).
"It was just what the doctor ordered," said head coach Will Davis. "Noah Sills set the tone from the very beginning by pitching the way he can. When you get a complete game performance on Friday night you really can't ask for anything more. We've been preaching a patient approach at the plate all year, and it was really good to see [seven walks] tonight. RBI walks are big, and when you add 10 hits to seven walks it's a good night."
Sills tied his career single-game strikeout high with eight on Friday while walking none. He allowed just six hits and one unearned run. He faced the minimum in the first, fourth, and fifth innings. The Islanders got runners on second and third in the sixth and seventh but converted just one of those runners into offense in an overall great defensive performance by the Cardinals despite the two errors.
Lamar got the scoring started in the bottom of the third inning. Anthony Quirion made contact on the second pitch he saw and drove the ball well into left center field. The centerfielder made a diving play at the ball and missed, allowing Quirion to reach third. The junior from Dixville, Quebec, Canada, came home on a sac fly from Avery George. Cole Girouard tripled in the next at-bat and scored on a squeeze bunt hit from Cole Coker with two outs. A strikeout ended the inning with Lamar up 2-0 through three.
Big Red's next offensive outburst came in the bottom of the fifth. George and Giroaurd were each walked with two outs, and George stole second during Girouard's at-bat. Back-to-back wild pitches scored George and put Girouard on third before Coker was walked, and a single from JC Correa scored Girouard. A deep fly ball from Robin Adames came up just short of the batter's eye in center field and ended the fifth inning with Lamar leading 4-0.
A&M-Corpus Christi scored its lone run of the evening in the seventh. A lead-off error advanced to third on a double with no outs, and an RBI grounder to second scored the runner on third. A liner straight back to Sills in the next at-bat froze the runner on third and a 4-3 grounder ended the inning. Lamar led 4-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Girouard and Coker were again walked to open the seventh inning. A one-out single from Adames loaded the bases before RBI walks of Logan Berlof and Cole Secrest scored two runs for Lamar. A two-out single from Rhett McCall scored Berlof and George's single scored two more before an 8-1-5 throw out ended the inning. Lamar led 9-1 through seven innings and held that advantage through the final two innings.
Jason Blanchard (2-3, 2.94 ERA) will take the mound for Lamar with first pitch of Game 2 in the series scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday. Weather could play a factor so stay tuned to LamarCardinals.com for further details.