Southland Conference Recap 05-03-09

Andrew Kainer becomes the second player in SLC history with a 34-game hit streak
Andrew Kainer becomes the second player in SLC history with a 34-game hit streak

Lamar 13 at McNeese State 5

LAKE CHARLES, La. – Lamar hit three home runs and had eight extra-base hits to defeat McNeese State 13-5 at Cowboy Diamond on Sunday to become the third team to secure a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament.

Andy Mena was one of four players to finish with three hits, including his second home run of the season, drove in three and scored twice.

Tyler Link also had three hits and set the Lamar single-season runs scored record, surpassing Blake Justice’s 66 set in 2002, when he scored on Brian Taylor’s ninth-inning single. Taylor and Steven Tucker also had three hits.

Lamar (32-18, 16-11 SLC) had 19 hits – its second-highest all season – and drove in all 13 runs

Ricky Testa (5-3), who earned the win in relief on Friday night, picked up his second win of the weekend as he struck out four in six innings, while scattering three runs on 13 hits. He did not go out for the seventh after a 1:03 rain delay in the top of the seventh.

McNeese State (20-25, 9-18 SLC) was productive at the plate but wasn’t able to get the timely hits like on Saturday. The Cowboys had 16 hits with 12 men lof on base. Jordan LeGros (3-2) worked into the third and allowed seven runs on eight hits.

Lamar Recap
McNeese State Recap

Southeastern Louisiana 2 Nicholls State 1

HAMMOND – The Lions could not hold 1-0 lead as the Colonels tied things up on a double-steal in the eighth, but the Southeastern Louisiana Univeristy baseball team (31-17, 18-9 Southland Conference) prevailed anyway as freshman shortstop Justin Boudreaux singled home sophomore first baseman Joe Sparacino with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Lions a 2-1 walk-off victory over Nicholls State (18-28, 8-19 SLC).

Sunday’s win at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field completed a three-game sweep of the Colonels and extended Southeastern’s winning streak to a season-best eight games. The Lions are just two wins shy of the school record of ten straight wins set from April 2-15, 1997.

The Lions struck first as a pitchers’ duel broke out between Ryan Cooper of Nicholls State and Southeastern left handed starter Brian McCants.

Southeastern managed to push a run across in the bottom of the third thanks to an RBI groundout by sophomore center fielder Cass Hargis.

However, that’s all the Lions would manage against Nicholls State in the first eight innings. Cooper held Southeastern to one unearned run on eight hits while walking two and striking out two over six innings of work.

Fortunately, for the Lions, McCants was up to the task. The Slidell native became just the second Lion pitcher to strike out ten batters in a game this season (junior right hander Ryan Boudreaux struck out 14 at Texas-San Antonio on March 1) by punching out ten Colonels and holding Nicholls State scoreless over 6.1 innings. McCants allowed just three base hits and two walks.

Southeastern Louisiana Recap
Nicholls State Recap

UT Arlington 14 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4

ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington finished its sweep over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with a 14-4, seven-inning rule-rule victory while securing a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington. Senior Andrew Kainer entered the SLC record books in the third inning with a double to left field, improving his hit streak to 34 games, which ties the all-time SLC record that was previously set in 1996 by Brett Lockwood from Nicholls.

UT Arlington is now in sole possession of third place in the SLC with a 17-10 conference mark and equals the 2008 Maverick season win total while improving to 26-21 overall. The Mavericks finished last season 26-31 overall and went 16-14 in the SLC. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is now 17-33 overall and 8-19 in the SLC.

“I’m very proud of the fact we got into the (SLC) playoffs,” head coach Darin Thomas said. “That is two years in a row for us and a positive step forward. Hopefully we can continue playing well going into the playoffs.”

The Mavericks earned their fourth SLC series sweep of the season on Sunday in large part to a nine-run third inning that saw UT Arlington record eight straight hits to start the inning. The Mavs hit three homers in the inning, highlighted by sophomore Michael Choice’s second grand slam of the season.

UT-Arlington Recap
Texas A&M Corpus Christi Recap

Texas State 5 at UTSA 3

San Antonio, TX – Five scoreless innings went by before pinch hitter Keith Prestridge made the most of his only at-bat of the day, knocking in the game-winning run in the top of the 11th inning, before Texas State took a 5-3 win Sunday afternoon at Roadrunner Field and clinched the I-35 Maroon vs. Orange baseball rivalry series.

Texas State improves to 33-12 overall and 20-6 in Southland Conference action, holding a two and a half game lead in the league standings. UTSA drops to 26-21 overall and 15-12 in the league.

Michael Russo earned his first win since the April 4 meeting with Central Arkansas. Russo relieved Tyler Brundridge in the eighth with one out remaining and forced Tyler Carpenter to ground out to second with runners on second and third to call off the threat.

The junior closed out the final three innings allowing just two hits while striking out three batters.

Both teams had a 1-2-3 frame in the first and Texas State opened scoring with a three-run second to take the early lead. Spenser Dennis hit a double just out of Michael Rockett’s reach in right center and Lance Loftin brought him home on a home run to left field. Jason Martinson mimicked the feat with a solo home run to left center for the 3-0 game.

Texas State Recap
UT-San Antonio Recap