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Lamar drops series opener to UTRGV

Cardinals commit four errors in loss to UTRGV

BEAUMONT, Texas — Lamar University gave up four errors which led to three runs, to go along with two miscues on the basepaths halted an eighth inning rally. UT Rio Grande Valley held on to defeat LU, 9-5, Friday night at Vincent-Beck Stadium.

The Cardinals scored five runs on nine hits but were hurt by four errors on the night. UTRGV scored their nine runs on 13 hits with one error.

Junior Braxton Douthit (6-2) got the start and pitched 6.0 innings surrendering just two unearned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. He was one of four Cardinals to take the mound Friday.

The Vaqueros' Kevin Stevens (7-2) went 7.0 innings allowing two earned runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. He was lifted in the eighth inning for Ricky Gerik, Jr., who pitched the final two innings giving up three runs on four hits.

Junior Reese Durand and senior Matthew McDonald each recorded multi-hit nights. Durand was 2-for-4 with a couple runs scored, while McDonald was 2-for-4 with a home run, four RBIs and one run scored.

The Cardinals took the first lead of the game with a run in the third, but UTRGV answered back with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. After pushing their advantage to two with a run in the seventh, the Vaqueros went for the knockout punch in the eighth plating three runs on three hits.

Big Red didn't go down without a fight responding immediately with four runs on four hits in their half. After getting runners on first and second with one out, McDonald crushed an 0-2 pitch over the fence in left field for his fourth homer of the season, and more importantly pulled LU within two runs. After Kelby Weyler singled up the middle and Ryan Snell reached on a booted ball by the third basemen, the Cardinals had runners at first and second with just one down, but that is where the rally ended oddly enough on a double.

Josh Blankenship doubled to left field easily scoring Weyler from second, but Jack Schell – the pinch runner – was gunned down at the plate trying to tie the game. After applying the tag, UTRGV's catcher fired to third getting Blankenship trying to advance. Despite the miscues, LU headed to the top of the ninth trailing by just a run.

Unfortunately, LU was unable to get the shutdown inning in the ninth as the Vaqueros tacked on three more runs.

Big Red will look to answer back and even up the series Saturday when they return to the diamond to host UTRGV. The game will start at 2 p.m., but prior to first pitch the Cardinals will have an on-field presentation recognizing former greats Jim Gilligan, David Bernsen and Kevin Millar.