Southland Conference recap for February 20th

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

Lamar 6, Maine 1
Lamar 5, Maine 4 (17 innings)

LamarPhoto BEAUMONT, Texas – Lamar’s Anthony Moore drove a walk-off single off the right field fence in the 17th inning Saturday night to end the longest baseball game in school history and give the Cardinals a 5-4 victory and a doubleheader sweep of Maine. They also won the first game 6-1.

Moore’s winning hit came off Chris Bernard, the fourth relief pitcher used by the Black Bears in the four hour, 39-minute marathon played before a Vincent-Beck Stadium crowd of 516.

The blow brought Pablo Salinas in from third base to break a 4-4 tie that existed since the Black Bears tied the score on a three-run triple by Taylor Lewis in the eighth inning.

Salinas led off the Cardinals’ 17th inning with a double down the left-field line, and Andy Mena, who entered the game as a defensive replacement at second base an inning earlier, put down a perfect sacrifice bunt to get Salinas to third base. The Black Bears issued an intentional walk to Aaron Buchanan to set up a possible double play, then Quentin Luquette drew an unintentional walk to load the bases and set up Moore.

Moore, who had already walked four times and had another hit in the game, slugged a two-run homer to help the Cardinals defeat the Bears 6-1 in Saturday’s first game.

Spencer Cuniff, the sixth pitcher used by Cardinals coach Jim Gilligan, worked the final eight innings to earn his first victory of the season. He allowed five hits, struck out five and did not walk a batter.

Cameron Campbell followed Moore’s first-game home run that traveled over the right field fence with a solo shot that sailed over the left-field fence to give the Cards a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Senior right-hander Matison Smith was the winning pitcher in Saturday’s opener, and junior right-hander Taylor McInnis picked up a save by working the final three innings. Freshman left-hander Jonathan Dziedzic started the second game and allowed four hits and an unearned run while striking out seven over the first six innings.

Stephen F. Austin 4, Grambling 0

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Jared West held Grambling scoreless for a career-best seven innings and the SFA offense did just enough to get away with a 4-0 win over the Tigers in the second game of the team’s season-opening series on Saturday at Jaycees Field.

West retired the first 12 Tigers (0-2) he faced on the afternoon and picked up the win for SFA (2-0) after striking out five and not walking a batter. In arguably his most efficient start of his career, 61 of the 83 pitches he fired were for strikes.

The win also marks the first time since 1989 that SFA has started off the season 2-0.

A day after pounding out 14 hits against the Tigers, the ‘Jacks had a tough time with Grambling starter Eric Zagone who took the loss despite just allowing two runs in six innings with four strikeouts.

SFA had to manufacture its first run of the day in the second inning, using one-out singles from Bo Coffman and Ryan Priest to put runners on the corners before Justin Long got Coffman across the plate on a slow chopper to first base that he beat out to avoid the double play.

A pair of Grambling errors helped the SFA cause in the third as Bobby Loveless picked up his second RBI in as many days by beating out a fielder’s choice at first that scored Garrett Smith, putting SFA ahead 2-0.

West then got into some trouble in the fifth as Mychal Roby broke up the perfect game with a leadoff single one batter before Steve Kletke was hit by a pitch. A bunt single from Jeremy Shelby loaded the bases with no outs, but Sam Keller lined a shot into the glove of second baseman Michael Haynes who shoveled the ball to Tanner Hines for a double play. One batter later, Brandon Smith grounded out to end the only threat that Grambling would have on the afternoon.

SFA added some insurance in the bottom of the seventh, however, off of Brian Sinnette with Coffman delivering the big blow with a bases loaded single that scored both Tanner Hines and Darren Crabtree.

The bullpen took over from there as Jason West struck out a pair in the eighth before Brad Oates came on to get the final three outs, including a strikeout of Milton Jeffrey Barney to close it.

Coffman and Smith led the offense with 2-for-4 afternoons, while Riley Huble delivered the only extra-base hit for either team on the afternoon with a double in the sixth.

SFA and the Tigers wrap up their series on Sunday with a scheduled 1 p.m. start. Justin Braddock is slated to get the start for SFA.

UTSA 9, Houston Baptist 2

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – UTSA received a solid outing from junior Matt Crocker in his first career start and he was backed by three home runs, as the Roadrunners opened the 2010 campaign with a 9-2 victory against Houston Baptist on Saturday afternoon.

The lefthander was outstanding, allowing just one run on six singles and a walk and the Kingwood native struck out a half dozen in his six-inning, 75-pitch outing.

Second baseman Ryan Hutson launched a solo homer to left with two down in the first, freshman Ryan Dalton led off the fifth with a solo shot of his own and sophomore Casey Selsor hit a two-run bomb to right center as part of a four-run frame in the sixth and that was all the offense Crocker would need on the overcast, 63-degree day at Roadrunner Field.

"I was very pleased with the way we played in all three phases of the game today," UTSA 10th-year coach Sherman Corbett said after the game. "Matt set the tone on the mound early and that gave our hitters an opportunity to get comfortable and do some damage in the middle innings. It’s always nice to start the season on a positive note."

Hutson, who finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base, continued his torrid pace at the plate, albeit with a nine-month break between plate appearances. The preseason second-team All-Southland Conference performer now has left the park 13 times in his 14 contests, dating back to April 21, 2009, and the homer was the 25th of his career, which moved him into a seventh-place tie with Chris Lewis (2004-05) on the program’s all-time list.

Senior Lance Brown added a pair of hits and scored twice, while freshman Jake Wood stroked a two-run double as part of the Birds’ big sixth inning.

Meanwhile, junior right-hander Taylor Walton fanned four over the final three frames in relief of Crocker to earn the save.

HBU starter Dalton Schafer (0-1) allowed six runs (four earned) on seven hits in five-plus innings.

Four Huskies recorded two safeties as part of a 10-hit offensive attack and Beau Warren left the yard off Walton in the ninth.

The season-opening series concludes at 1 p.m. on Sunday when junior college transfers Mike Pierce and Jamie Storey start on the mound for UTSA and Houston Baptist, respectively.

Southeastern Louisiana 11, Eastern Illinois 5

HAMMOND, La. -Southeastern Louisiana clinched its opening weekend series, beating Eastern Illinois Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field by a final score of 11-5. The Lions will go for the sweep Sunday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m.

The Lions (2-0) ran into trouble early, allowing four runs in the top of the first inning. With the Panthers (0-2) threatening to add more in the second, head coach Jay Artigues opted to replace starter Stefan Lopez with freshman Jordan Hymel (1-0), who earned a win in his first collegiate appearance. Hymel did masterful work in three and two thirds innings, keeping EIU scoreless, while allowing just two hits and two walks. He also struck out one Panther.

Chris Franklin earned his first save of the season, pitching the final four innings. He allowed one earned run on four hits, struck out five Panthers and allowed one walk. After earning a school record 12 saves last year, Franklin was placed on the preseason watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award.

Cass Hargis led the Lions’ offensive attack, going 3-of-4, with all three of his hits being doubles. He also had two RBI, as did Jeff Harkensee (2-of-3 with a double), Josh Cryer and Brock Hebert. Alex Marse was responsible for the remaining RBI. Southeastern scored in all but two innings, the second and fifth.

Starting pitcher Mike Recchia (0-1) suffered the loss for Eastern Illinois. In 3.1 innings of work, he surrendered six earned runs on five hits, with three walks and three strike outs.

Cam Strang (2-of-4 with a double and a stolen base) and Shawn Ferguson (2-of-4 with two doubles) paced Eastern Illinois on offense.

McNeese State 8, Valparaiso 2

LAKE CHARLES, La. – McNeese State picked up its second win in as many chances as they took down the Valparaiso Crusaders 8-2 Saturday at Cowboy Diamond.

The Cowboys jumped out to an early lead as they put up seven of their eight runs in the first two innings of the ball game.

Cowboy Jace Peterson knocked in the first two runs of the contest with his double in the bottom of the first and then scored the third on a Matt Fontenot double. In the second, newcomer Blake Ellender hit his first home run as a Cowboy as he took an Austen Siwiec pitch over the left field wall.

Cowboy starting pitcher Tyler Davis earned his first win of the 2010 campaign as he threw five innings of two hit ball, giving up just one Crusader run while striking out five.

"Their starter came out and struggled a little," McNeese State coach Terry Burrows said. "We got some base runners and scored some runs early but their left hander had our number later in the game."

Peterson knocked in another run and scored once more in the second inning. He finished three for five at the plate with two runs scored and two batted in.

As a team the Cowboys collected 13 hits off Valparaiso pitching while holding the Crusaders to just six.

"Tyler Davis did a great job getting us five good innings and got us the win," Burrows said. "I’m very pleased with our bullpen work so far. It was our nemesis last year so it’s good to see we’re doing better."

Cowboy pitchers Zach Butler and Dustin Lloyd both saw their first action in a McNeese uniform during the win. Both Butler and Lloyd threw two innings of relief work giving up just two hits each. Lloyd struck out five of the eight batters he faced.

The Cowboys are back in action Sunday at 11 a.m. at Cowboy Diamond for the third and final game against Valparaiso.

Texas State 6, Houston 3

HOUSTON, Texas – Tyler Sibley and Bret Atwood hit back-to-back doubles to jumpstart Texas State’s offense in the top of the fifth inning and the Bobcats rallied for a 6-3 win over the Houston Cougars Saturday night at Cougar Field. The Bobcats move to a 2-0 start for the 2010 season and look the sweep the series with a final meeting Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

The Bobcat got off to a rocky start and the Cougars turned a pair of errors in the bottom of the second into three runs to take the early lead.

The lead almost held through until Sibley broke through on two outs with a double down the leftfield line to shift Jordan Kopycinski to the scoring corner. Kopycinski, who reached on a walk, and Sibley rounded the bases in the next at-bat as Atwood slapped a double to right field for two RBI.

Texas State’s defense held Houston scoreless in the bottom of the third, but Blake Kelso tripled in the bottom of the fourth, nearly pushing Houston’s lead to 4-0, but newcomer Lee Colon struck out the next two batters and got Matt Creel to ground out to second base to ward off the threat.

After a scoreless fifth from both teams, Texas State mounted its comeback in the top of the sixth with three runs to take the lead. Livingstone doubled to open the frame and Kyle Kubitza, who finished the night 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored, tied the game with a long single to centerfield to plate the senior. Houston brought in Chase Dempsay, but Daniel Neumann tapped the hurler for a base hit through the right side and Laurn Randell brought in the pair of base runners on a single to left field.

Leading 5-3, Texas State added its final run of the game on a sacrifice fly from Shaun Garcia.

Colon was credited with tonight’s win after going 4.0 complete innings and not allowing a single run. Colon struck out five batters in the win.

Mitchell Pitts, who closed the game for Texas State, earned his first save of the season, retiring the side in the bottom of the ninth.

No. 11 TCU 12, Sam Houston State 7

FORT WORTH, Texas – First baseman Taylor Davis had two hits including a home run and center fielder Mark Hudson went 3-for-5 with three RBI to lead Sam Houston State as the Bearkats fell to No. 11 TCU 12-7 before 3,072 fans at Lupton Stadium.

The Horned Frogs pounded out 15 hits as Kyle Von Tungein, Jerome Pena, Jason Coats and Marry Curry each tallied two hits. On the mound, freshman Matt Purke picked up his first collegiate victory. Purke (1-0) went five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits. He walked one and fanned eight.

Paul Spinn (0-1) drew the loss for the Bearkats in his first Sam Houston start. Andrew Massey, Brandon Kimbrel, Michael Hilliard and Daniel Nottebart all saw work in relief.

Second baseman Braeden Riley, last year’s NCAA Division I total hits leader, went 2-for-5. Catcher Doug Oney was 2-for-4.

Sam Houston State cracked the scoreboard for the first time in 2010 in the first inning as they took the early 1-0 lead. With the bases loaded a balk was called, allowing the Bearkats first run to score. Purke limited the damage, getting Tyler Fiebrich to ground out to end the inning.

The Frogs answered in the bottom of the inning, taking advantage of two free passes to take a 2-1 lead. Bryan Holaday was hit by a two-out pitch and a throwing error on a ball hit by Weik kept the inning alive. A Coats single tied the game at one and Elander put the Frogs on top, 3-2, with a base hit to short.

A two-run top of the second put the Bearkats back in front, but the Frogs responded with a four-spot in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead for good. TCU kept pouring on the offense as it added three more runs in the third inning to open up a 9-3 lead.

An unearned run came across the plate in the fifth inning as the Bearkats took advantage of two Frog errors to score their fourth run of the game. But back-to-back strikeouts from Purke ended the Frame with the Frogs still in control, 9-4.

Sam Houston State closed the gap in the seventh inning with three runs on four hits to pull within three, 10-7. The big blow of the inning was a two-run home run by Davis.

The Frogs will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon at Lupton Stadium. Kyle Winkler will toe the rubber for the Frogs and face the Bearkats’ Jordan Westra. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.

No. 21 Southern Miss 7, Northwestern State 3

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – A two-run, seventh-inning double by Southern Mississippi first baseman Mark Ellis helped guide the 21st-ranked Golden Eagles to a 7-3 win over Northwestern State on Saturday in game two of the 3-game series.

Northwestern dropped to 0-2 on the season while Southern Miss improved to 2-0. The series concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday with Demon senior Heath Hennigan getting his first start in more than a year.

"We competed much better today," Northwestern coach J.P. Davis said. "Overall, we played a lot better and with a lot more confidence. We got down early but did a nice job of weathering the storm."

Southern Miss jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning, sparked by a two-run double by Adam Doleac. Doleac was the big stick for the Golden Eagles in Friday’s 11-0 win after he belted a two-run home run and a two-run triple.

The Demons came back with solo runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to tied the game at 3.

In the fourth, Northwestern centerfielder Oscar Garcia walked, moved to third on a double by third baseman Chase Lyles then scored on a RBI-groundout by designated hitter Adam Roy.

In the fifth, shortstop Trent Grondin hit a one out single then scored on a RBI grounder by Garcia to cut the deficit to 3-2.

Northwestern tied the game in the sixth when Lyles reached on an error, stole second, went to third on Roy’s grounder and scored on a Colin Bear RBI groundout.

Southern Miss won the game in the bottom of the seventh after the Demons walked the leadoff batter then hit the next guy to put runners on first and second with no outs. That led to a 3-run inning and a 6-3 lead for the Golden Eagles.

"The game was definitely won there in the seventh inning," Davis said. "When you put the first two runners on, you’re asking for a big inning to happen."

The Demons threatened to get back into the game in the top of the eighth when they loaded the bases with one out. But Grondin grounded into a 1-6-3 double play to end the threat. It was the third time of the game that Northwestern grounded into a double play with the bases loaded.

Andrew Plotkin (0-1) took the loss out of relief after he gave up three runs on two hits in one inning. Luke Irvine started the game for the Demons and tossed five innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits with four strikeouts.

Offensively, the Demons got eight hits with two each coming from Lyles, Grondin and Aaron Munoz.

Cody Schlagel (1-0) got the win in relief role after giving up no runs and two hits in one inning of work. Southern Miss starter Scott Copeland gave up three runs on four hits in six innings of action.

"I’m not big on moral victories, but our guys know that we can compete with them (Southern Miss)," Davis said. "Sunday should be a really good game."

The Demons open their home season on Tuesday against Alcorn State at Brown-Stroud Field.

Dallas Baptist 9, UT Arlington 4
Dallas Baptist 11, UT Arlington 6

DALLAS, Texas – UT Arlington junior All-American Michael Choice hit two home runs and went 4-for-6 with four walks (two intentional), but it wasn’t enough as the Mavericks dropped a doubleheader, 9-4 and 11-6, against Dallas Baptist on Saturday at Patriot Field in Dallas.

The Mavericks fell to 0-3 on the season while the Patriots sweep the weekend series and improve to 3-0 on the season.

Choice hit a towering two-run homer in the top of the first inning in game one to put the Mavericks on the board 2-0. That quickly changed the Patriots’ philosophy on how they would pitch to Choice. In his next three at bats, Choice received two intentional walks and another walk that took just five pitches to put him aboard. His final at-bat saw him reach base on an infield single to third base.

Dallas Baptist plated four runs in the first, a run in the second and two each in the fourth and seventh innings while UT Arlington stranded 10 base runners in the game and only collected two additional runs in the third inning on a two-run single by catcher Steffan Guest.

UT Arlington starting pitcher Logan Bawcom suffered the loss pitching 3.1 innings and allowed six hits, seven runs and three walks with three strikeouts. Choice led the way going 2-for-2 with two runs and three RBI while Bryant Lopez (2-for-4) and Jesse Payne joined Choice with multi-hit games.

In game two of the doubleheader, Choice extended his career-high hit streak to 15 games with a line-drive double into the right-center field gap in the seventh inning. An inning later, Choice hit another deep home run to dead-center field for a three-run shot to cap off a four-run inning for the Mavericks.

Although, the damage had already been done after Dallas Baptist scored a pair of runs in the second, third and fifth innings and added three runs in the sixth inning. Overall, the Patriots scored in six of their eight times at the plate.

Lopez collected another two-hit game (2-for-4, run) and Guest (2-for-5, two RBI) and Chad Comer (2-for-5) also joined Choice (2-for-4, three RBI) with two-hit performances.

Junior right-handed pitcher Rett Varner was the losing pitcher for the Mavericks pitching 4.1 innings and allowing seven hits and six runs with two walks and three strikeouts.

UT Arlington will head back to Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington next weekend as they host defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Missouri State for in a three-game series.

Creighton 3, Central Arkansas 2

CONWAY, Ark. -Central Arkansas came up just short in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday in dropping a 3-2 decision to the Creighton Blue Jays at Bear Stadium.

The Bears, down 3-2 heading into their final at bat, put two runners on base against Creighton reliever Matt Patterson. Senior Bobby Pritchett drew a one-out walk and went to second on a pinch-hit single to left field by Jonathan Houston.

After Tye Throneberry hit a fly ball for the second out, Chase Huchingson singled to right field. Pritchett rounded third as the potential tying run but was thrown out by a couple of steps by right fielder T.J. Roemmich to end the game.

UCA out-hit Creighton 8-4, with freshman designated hitter Ethan Harris going 2-for-4. In his first two games as a Bear, Harris is 6-for-10 with four RBI. Junior third baseman Clay Washington also had two hits for the Bears.

The Blue Jays (2-0), who dominated Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 22-0 earlier Saturday at Bear Stadium, took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-out, two-run double by first baseman Ian Dike. After that, UCA starter Michael Wild settled down and did not allow another run in seven solid innings of work. Wild struck out seven and walked none, allowing three hits.

The Bears closed the gap to 2-1 in the third when sophomore Jordan Getchell walked, stole second and advanced to third on Harris’ single to center. Catcher Michael Pair grounded out to first and Harris was also thrown at second on the play, but not before Getchell crossed the plate.

UCA tied it at 2-2 in the seventh when Washington hit the Bears’ first home run of the season, a solo shot to right field off Creighton reliever Roemmich. The Blue Jays went up 3-2 on Robbie Knight’s left-field home run in the eighth.

UCA reliever Evan Cox struck out three in two innings but took the loss after surrendering the home run. Bobby Lackovic went 1.1 innings for the victory, striking out one and walking one.

The Bears host SIU-Edwardsville at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Louisiana-Lafayette 6, Nicholls 2

LAFAYETTE, La. – Nicholls scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth, but it would prove to be too little, too late as the Colonels dropped their second consecutive game to Louisiana-Lafayette by a final of 6-2 at M.L. Tigue Moore Field in Lafayette on Saturday.

The Colonels, who dropped Friday’s season opener by the same score after giving up five runs to the Cajuns in the eighth, couldn’t break through against the ULL pitching staff until the top of the ninth inning.

That’s when redshirt sophomore first baseman Blake Bergeron plated a pair with a two-run triple. Bergeron went 3-for-4 on the day with a double and a single to finish a home run short of hitting for the cycle.

Junior left hander Clint Dempster took the loss in his first outing, giving up four runs on five hits in 3.0 innings pitched. The Cajuns struck in the bottom of the first with an RBI single from catcher Chad Keefer. UL-Lafayette (2-0) added three more in the bottom of the third by stringing together four hits to chase Dempster after going up 4-0 in the third.

Sophomore left hander Ryan Cooper came on in relief of Dempster and worked 4.0 innings while limiting UL-Lafayette to four hits. Unfortunately, for the Colonels, the Cajuns added to their lead with an RBI single from Alex Fusilier in the fourth and a solo home run by Jordan Porrier in the seventh, and ULL starter Justin Robichaux scattered four Colonel hits through 7.0 scoreless innings.

The Colonels (0-2) finally broke through in the top of the ninth as junior shortstop Chase Jaramillo, who went 2-for-4 on the day, reached on a throwing error with two outs. Freshman pinch hitter Mike Barba followed with a sharp single to right in his first collegiate at bat and Bergeron brought them both home with a bases-clearing triple.

However, that was all that Cajun reliever Randall Bulliard would allow as he shut the door on the Colonel rally by coaxing a groundout from Beau Faulk to end the game.

The Colonels will look to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Cajuns when Nicholls hosts UL-Lafayette in their 2010 home opener at Ray E. Didier Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

Prairie View at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Postponed

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Prairie View will play a Sunday doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. at Chapman Field. The field conditions were still wet from showers Thursday evening that didn’t let up until Friday morning.