Lamar baseball falls 2-1 to Southeastern La.
BEAUMONT – Junior right hander Eric Harrington pitched a complete game Friday night at Vincent-Beck Stadium, but Lamar’s ninth inning rally came up short as Southeastern Louisiana picked up a 2-1 Southland Conference baseball victory.
The loss drops the Cardinals to 8-17 on the year and just 1-9 in league action. The two teams will meet Saturday at 2 p.m. for the second game of the three-game series, and all the action can be heard on KLVI 560 AM with Harold Mann calling the play-by-play.
Jude Vidrine reached on an error by SLU second baseman Brock Hebert to lead off the ninth inning. The Cards then got singles out of Seth Dornak and Darian Johnson to load the bases with no outs. Lamar got on the board as Brad Picha lifted a fly ball to left field that scored Vidrine.
However, SLU closer Stefan Lopez got Jeff Abt to strike out looking and Thomas Henk to fly out to left to end the game. Lopez picked up his league-leading 10th save of the year as the Lions improved to 20-7 overall and 7-3 in Southland play.
Harrington was the hard-luck loser after scattering nine hits over nine innings. He allowed just two earned runs and struck out four batters, but still fell to 0-5 on the season with the loss.
“It’s a shame when a guy pitches like Harrington did and we can’t get him any offensive support,” said LU head coach Jim Gilligan about Harrington’s performance. “We had our chances and just didn’t capitalize.”
One such chance came in the fourth inning when the Cardinals were down just 1-0. With the bases loaded and one out, Abt hit a fly ball that Harry Slade caught in center field. Dornak started to come home and then went back to third, but as it turned out would have scored as Slade’s throw went to the backstop. Henk then grounded out to end the Cardinals’ threat.
SLU got on the board in the second inning by manufacturing a run. Jonathan Pace and Cody Gougler led off with back-to-back singles, and both runners moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Slade. Pace then scored on a RBI groundout by Jacob Fisher that made it 1-0.
Harrington’s only other mistake came in the top of the ninth inning, and as it turned out, proved to be the game-winning run. Gougler led off the inning with his second home run of the season as he hit Harrington’s 1-1 offering over the right field fence.
Andro Cutura picked up the win to move to 2-1 on the season. Cutura worked five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and one walk. Dylan Hills pitched three strong innings for SLU, as well, striking out four while not allowing a base runner.
Johnson finished with two of Lamar’s five hits.
SLU’s Brock Hebert came into the game batting .463, but went 0-for-4 and also committed both of the Lions’ errors.