Lamar Baseball advances in SLC Tournament
SUGAR LAND – Head coach Jim Gilligan
had to go to his bullpen early on Thursday afternoon, and fortunately for the
Lamar baseball team, Lance Warren answered the call in impressive fashion,
allowing just three hits over 8.2 innings of work to lead the Cardinals to a
10-3 victory over McNeese State, knocking the Cowboys out of the Southland
Tournament at Constellation Field.
“It turned into a one-man bullpen today, and I didn’t
think he could go nine,” head coach Jim Gilligan said. “But he could go 8.2,
and he did pretty well. Lance did a fabulous job today. He was a little bit
tired in the sixth, but I told him to just throw it out there and let his
defense work. That’s what he did. He learned a little bit about pitching today.”
With the win, the Cards improve to 37-19 on the year
and will play the loser of the Southeastern Louisiana and Sam Houston State
game on Friday at noon. McNeese completed their 2013 campaign with a 23-31
Warren, who pitched a full four innings longer than
his previous career-best, struck out four and walked just one. Hibbs’ final
line was 0.1 innings pitched, surrendering three scores (two earned) and a hit.
“I wasn’t expecting to go that long,” Warren revealed.
“I’ve come in for some situations this year, but I was just trying to do what I
could. We had to win today, and I needed to come out and get ahead of people.”
Despite incurring a 3-0 deficit after the top of the
first, the LU offense responded forcefully in the bottom half of the frame.
Aaron Olivas earned a one-out walk and later scored on a Brad Picha single, and
Garret Autrey laced a single down the left field line to even things up a few
Olivas finished the game 2-for-4 with three scores,
and Picha had a two-hit day as well, crossing home twice. Autrey was the
primary run-producer for the Cards, knocking in four and ending 2-for-4. On the
whole, LU out-hit McNeese 13-4.
The Cards took their first lead of the ball game two
innings later. A costly error by Cowboy shortstop Connor Lloyd and V.J. Bunner
double down the left field line put LU up 4-3. Another error by Lloyd on a
Vidrine grounder kept the LU rally going, scoring both Bunner and Seth Dornak
to put McNeese in a 6-3 hole.
Bunner was 2-for-3 on the day with two scores and two
RBI. Dornak also scored twice, going 2-for-4.
LU doubled its advantage in the fourth. Olivas led off
with a single, and a two-out single by Bunner brought him home to chase Cowboy
starter and SLC Freshman of the Year Bryce Kingsley from the mound. Autrey came
up big once again, sending the second pitch off McNeese reliever Jacob Williams
deep into center for a two-run double.
Kingsley was pegged with the loss, allowing nine runs
(seven earned) on eight hits and three walks in 3.2 innings of work.
Olivas and Dornak combined for a run in the sixth to
account for the final score.
Lamar and either Sam Houston State or Southeastern
Louisiana will meet on Friday at noon, with the winner advancing to play once
again at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 23 2014, 10:23 AM CDT