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Southland Conference Recap 03/05/2010

Russo allowed seven hits and three runs in his 7.2 innings of work. The senior struck out a career-high eight batters.


Texas State 5, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 3

SAN MARCOS, Texas – After trailing the majority of the game, Texas State spurred a four-run eighth-inning rally and earned its first win of the Southland Conference season with a 5-3 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Friday night at Bobcat Field.

Texas State improves to 4-4 on the season and 1-0 in league play, while A&M-Corpus Christi falls to 5-3 and 0-1, respectively.

The Islander sent a pair of runs across in the first inning to take the early lead, and the Bobcats nearly matched the effort in their half of the frame. Laurn Randell and Bret Atwood led off with base hits to the outfield and Tyler Sibley drew a walk to load the bases. Kyle Livingstone followed and nearly belted a grand slam, but came up with a long fly ball to the warning track that gave Randell enough time to score and trim the Islander lead.

During the next six innings, both Michael Russo and Roy Ferdin went to work on the mound, shutting down the respective teams for only three hits apiece.

“Russo pitched very well tonight,” Texas State coach Ty Harrington said. “This is the third-straight game that he has gone out and performed and I can’t say enough about how proud I am of the effort.”

Russo allowed seven hits and three runs in his 7.2 innings of work. The senior struck out a career-high eight batters in the no decision. Ferdin went 6.0 innings for the Islanders, allowing five hits, one run and one walk.

Phillip Garcia took over in the seventh and retired the side, and A&M-Corpus Christi tacked on its final run in the top of the eight. However, Texas State’s bats came alive in their half of the inning for the comeback. Shaun Garcia put a single up the middle for his first at-bat of the night and a pair of groundouts followed, advancing the senior to second base, but putting the inning at stake. Garcia issued a walk to Sibley to put the tying run on base and a costly balk shifted the Bobcat duo to the scoring corner.

A&M-Corpus Christi brought Chris Pena to the mound, but he could not hold off the Bobcats bite, and Kyle Livingstone tagged him for a two-run single laced up the middle to tie the game. A wild pitch sent Livingstone to second base and a ground ball to the pitcher from Kyle Kubitza would have left the game in knots, but Pena dropped the ball and Livingstone rushed home.

Jason Martinson pushed the final run home with a single up the middle and Garret Carruth closed out the game with a perfect ninth for the win.

Carruth went 1.1 with three strikeouts in his stay on the mound, and improves to 1-0 on the season.

Livingstone went 2-for-3 with three RBI to lead Texas State’s nine-hit tally.

The Bobcats will play game two of the series Saturday at 4 p.m.

Lamar 7, Dallas Baptist 3

BEAUMONT – Anthony Moore threw himself a whale of a Welcome Back Party Friday night. Moore, who missed Lamar’s three-game series with North Dakota State last weekend because of illness, slugged a three-run home run to help the Cardinals defeat Dallas Baptist 7-3 in their opening game in the 2010 YMBL/Cardinal Classic.

Lamar was leading 3-1 in the sixth inning when Moore, a senior centerfielder from Cedar Hill, powered a drive over Vincent-Beck Stadium’s left centerfield fence. It was his second homer of the season, and it improved his RBI total to six in five games.

Moore’s blast helped provide a little comfort zone for winning pitcher Jonathan Dziedzic, who notched his first collegiate victory. The freshman left-hander from Humble, Texas, limited the Patriots to three hits and an unearned run over eight innings. He struck out seven batters and walked only two.

Junior reliever Taylor McInnis gave up Dallas Baptist’s other runs on a two-run homer by Travis Meiners in the ninth inning. Senior right-hander Cory Holley eventually replaced McInnis and wiggled out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam by forcing a game-ending roller to first baseman Ryan Meade to earn his second save of the season.

Left fielder Tyler Robbins went 4-for-4 to account for all but two of the Patriots’ hits. While the win elevated the Cardinals to 7-1 in the early going, the loss dropped the Patriots to 7-3.

UT Arlington 6, BYU 3

ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington captured it second consecutive series with a 6-3 victory over BYU Friday night at Clay Gould Ballpark. Junior Rett Varner pitched 6.0 innings with five strikeouts to earn his first win of the season and junior reliever Logan Bawcom tossed the final 3.0 innings with four strikeouts to earn his first career save.

The Mavericks (4-5) will look for their first sweep of the season when they host the Cougars (3-7) for a 1 p.m. first-pitch on Saturday.

Four consecutive singles and RBI base hits from Brian Nephew, Jesse Payne and Nick Orr got the Mavericks started with a four-run, fourth inning to give UTA a 4-0 lead.

After allowing singles to the first two batters of the game, Varner gave up only one base hit over the next four innings. The Cougars reached the scoreboard in the fifth on a solo shot to right field by Wes Guenther and with an RBI infield single by Brandon Relf to bring the Cougars back within two runs, 4-2.

The Mavericks added to their lead with a run in the fifth and sixth innings. Steffan Guest drove in All-American center fielder Michael Choice with an RBI double in the fifth. Choice led off the frame with a single down the left-field line. UT Arlington also plated a run in the sixth inning on a throwing error by Cougars’ second baseman Dane Nielsen.

Bawcom allowed only one base hit in his three-inning save, which included striking out one in the seventh, a pair of BYU hitters in the eighth and one in the ninth.

For the second consecutive game UT Arlington had eight of its nine starters record a base hit while Orr (2-for-3), catcher Chad Comer (2-for-4) and Nephew (2-for-4) all joined Guest with multiple hits.

No. 29 Southeastern Louisiana 14, Texas Southern 8

HAMMOND, La. – No. 29 Southeastern Louisiana, ranked rolled to a 14-8 victory over Texas Southern Friday night at Alumni Field. The triumph improved the Lions’ record to 10-0 and matched the top winning streak in program history, previously set in 1964 and 1997.

Southeastern can set a new record for most consecutive wins Saturday, when the Lions host the Tigers (5-7) in the second of a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Starting pitcher Ryan Boudreaux (2-0) picked up the win. He threw five and one third innings, giving up 10 hits and five runs (four earned). He also struck out three and walked four. Justin Schneider came on in relief for one and two third innings of hitless and scoreless ball, striking out three, including two straight to close out the bottom of the sixth, leaving the bases full of Tigers.

Down 3-0 heading into the bottom of the third, the Lions rallied to tie things up. With two men on and nobody out, Cass Hargis delivered a triple to left center, plating Trey Martin and Brock Hebert. Hargis came home on a Justin Boudreaux ground out.

The fourth inning was Southeastern’s biggest of the night, good for five runs. With one out, Philip Freeman and Cody Gougler scored when Hebert singled to right center. Two batters later, Hargis came up huge again, this time with a double to left center, allowing Martin and Hebert to score. After Hargis stole third, Justin Boudreaux sacrificed him home with a fly ball to right. That made the count 8-3 in favor of the Green and Gold.

After the Tigers added a run in the top of the fifth, the Lions countered with a run that came in an odd fashion. Leading off, Gougler hit a shot down the right field line. It appeared to get caught in the rolled-up tarp along the wall, and Texas Southern right fielder Brandon Mikell raised his hands to indicate just that. Still, Gougler completed rounding the bases, and after an umpires’ conference, Gougler was awarded with an inside the park home run.

The Lions scored three more runs in the sixth. Justin Boudreaux scored on a wild pitch, and Gougler brought Josh Cryer home on a double. Later, Hebert singled in Freeman.

Southeastern’s final two runs came in the seventh, when Justin Boudreaux capped his evening with a two run homer to left field, bringing in Hargis. Boudreaux finished the night with a line of two-for-four, with two runs scored and four runs batted in. Hargis matched that game-high RBI number with four. Hebert had three RBI in a two-for-three performance.

Bryan Smith (1-2) suffered the loss for Texas Southern. He surrendered eight earned runs, five hits and four walks in four innings of work.

Stephen F. Austin 3, South Florida 2

NORMAN, Okla. – After a disappointing second career start less than a week ago, Tyler Herriage responded with seven shutout innings against South Florida on Friday as Stephen F. Austin held on for a 3-2 win over the Bulls in the Sooner Classic at L. Dale Mitchell Field.

Herriage earned his second win of the season against the Bulls and rarely had to work out of trouble, tossing seven shutout innings with three strikeouts and allowing just three singles and two walks. The Bulls (1-8) did not record their first hit of the day until a single by Luis Llerna with two outs in the fifth.

Jason West picked up his second save of the season for SFA (6-2), but it was anything but easy as he had to work out of a pair of jams in both the eighth and ninth innings before SFA was able to hang on. That included getting Jonathan Koscso and Sean Buckley to pop out on back-to-back at bats with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth.

Matt Stull took the loss for USF, allowing all three runs in 4.1 innings of work in his first start of the season.

Garrett Smith came up a home run short of the cycle, finishing 3-for-4 on the day with an RBI and a pair of extra-base hits. Michael Haynes and Darren Crabtree also finished with a pair of hits and an RBI apiece.

The ‘Jacks left runners on second and third in the first inning, but used three extra-base hits to come through with two outs in the bottom of the second to give Herriage an early lead. Bo Coffman led off with a double to left-center and three batters later Haynes delivered a two-out double down the left field line to plate the first SFA run. One batter later Smith made it 2-0 with a triple off the glove of USF left-fielder Junior Carlin that scored Haynes from second.

Crabtree gave the ‘Jacks a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single past a drawn-in infield that scored Garrett Smith who had led off the inning with a double.

But that was the last real scoring threat the ‘Jacks had as Herriage cruised through the seventh inning before giving way to the SFA bullpen to start the eighth. Brad Oates came on to face the top of the Bulls’ order, but a leadoff double from Carlin and a walk to Ryan Lockwood brought the tying run to the plate with the heart of the USF order due up. Johnny Cardenas then went to West who proceeded to work out of the jam by retiring Koscso, Sean Buckley and Falla in order to keep the ‘Jacks out in front.

But that was not the last time the Bulls would threaten as they finally cracked the scoreboard in the ninth as Steven Hunt led off by reaching on an error by Ryan Priest after he lost the ball in the sun. Eric Sim then walked and two batters later pinch hitter Alex Mendez shot a single through the left side that loaded the sacks with just one out. Carlin then picked up his third hit of the day with an RBI single off the glove of West and Lockwood got in the way of West’s first offering to him one batter later to cut the lead to just one run.

However, from there West only needed five more pitches to get Koscso and Buckley to pop out and leave the bases loaded as SFA picked up the win in their first-ever game against a school from the Big East.

The ‘Jacks will try and make it three wins in a row on Saturday in the first of two games against Western Illinois. SFA will throw Jared West in the first game against the Leathernecks scheduled to start at 11 a.m. before Brett Rogers gets the ball in the second game scheduled for 7 p.m.

Northwestern State 11, Murray State 0

NATCHITOCHES, La. – Luke Irvine made his home debut as a Northwestern State Demon a memorable one as the junior transfer hurled six scoreless innings and struck out nine batters as the Demons defeated Murray State 11-0 in the first game of a three-game series at Brown-Stroud Field.

The win was the seventh consecutive for the Demons as they improve to 7-2 on the season. Murray State lost for the fourth time in-a-row and fell to 4-4.

The series continues on Saturday at 6:30 with the finale scheduled for a 1 p.m. start Sunday.

In addition to getting a win in his home debut, it was also Irvine’s first win as a Demon as he goes to 1-0 on the season.

“He was really good tonight,” Northwestern coach J.P. Davis said of Irvine. “He gave up a couple of hits early on, but then really got into a good rhythm. He had confidence in his delivery and was pretty dominant.”

Irvine left the game after the sixth inning when he struck out the final two of his nine batters. He tossed 94 pitches on the night with 64 of those going for strikes.

But Irvine’s arm wasn’t the only think clicking for the Demons. Offensively, Northwestern pounded out 14 hits with two going for extra bases – a second inning triple by Tyler Baisley and a sixth-inning home run by Chase Lyles.

And for the second time this week, every Demon in the starting lineup had at least one hit.

“Offensively, we did a great job,” Davis said. “Throughout the lineup, every guy was producing in some way. We’re playing well in all phases of the game right now.”

First baseman Adam Roy had a 3-for-4 game with two RBI and two runs scored and shortstop Trent Grondin, second baseman Justin Martinez, and Lyles each had two hits.

The Demons got on the board in the second inning when Baisley hit a two-run triple and scored on an Eric DeBlanc groundout to put Northwestern up 3-0.

In the third, the Demon sent nine batters to the plate and got RBI singles from Roy, DeBlanc and Aaron Munoz to make it 7-0.

Lyles crushed a solo home run over the left field wall in the sixth to increase the lead to 8-0. It was his first homer of the year and the 24th of his career. He’s now eight home runs shy of becoming Northwestern’s all-time career leader in homers.

Back-to-back RBI singles by Lyles and Roy, followed by a RBI fielder’s choice from Colin Bear in the eighth inning game the Demons their final scores to make it 11-0.

For the Thoroughbreds, designated hitter Wes Cunningham and catcher Jason Laws each had two hits as the team was held to just five in the game.

Starting pitcher Chris Craycraft (2-1) took the loss after he gave up seven runs, four earned, on nine hits in five innings pitched.

For the Demons, relief pitchers Andrew Plotkin, Mason Melatokis, and Mathia Simmons combined to toss the final three innings to preserve Northwestern’s first shutout since a 1-0 win over Central Arkansas on May 1 of last year.

It was the first time Murray State had been blanked in 118 games.

Nevada 17, Central Arkansas 10

RENO, Nev. – In the series opener, Central Arkansas lost a 17-10 slugfest to Nevada at Peccole Park on Friday afternoon. The Wolfpack outhit the Bears 13-10, with both squads committing three errors.

Nevada shortstop Kevin Rodland led the bottom of the first off with a triple and scored on a Westley Moss ground ball for the first run of the game. UCA took a 3-1 lead in the second with RBI singles from junior Clay Washington and freshman Ethan Harris and a bases loaded walk issued to sophomore Greg Noble.

The Wolfpack (6-3) went on to score 16 runs from the fourth to the seventh innings. After tying the game at 3-3 with a pair of scores in the fourth, Nevada had a six-run fifth, including two-run doubles from Brock Stassi and Nick Leid. Catcher Michael Turay hit a three-run homer as part of five runs in the seventh. Another three-run blast from Brian Barnett in the seventh gave the Wolfpack a 17-3 lead.

The Bears (3-5) scored three runs in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly from junior shortstop Kyle Prevett and a two-run homer by junior designated hitter Chase Huchingson. UCA tacked on four runs in the ninth, including a run-scoring double from freshman catcher Michael Marietta and RBI-single by Huchingson.

Huchingson led UCA by going 3-for-5 at the plate with three RBI. Sophomore right fielder Jake Fuller was 2-for-5.

Barnett was 2-for-4 with four runs scored and four RBI for the Wolfpack. Stassi went 2-for-3 with three RBI and Leid was 2-for-3 with three runs and two batted in.

Wolfpack starter Beau Witsoe (2-1) earned the win by allowing four hits, one earned run, four walks and two strikeouts over five innings. Senior Michael Wild (1-1) gave up eight hits, eight earned runs, two walks and struck out one in 4.2 innings.

The Bears and Wolfpack will play game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 1 p.m. central time.

Creighton 6, Sam Houston State 5 (10 innings)

HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Catcher Scott Thornburg’s walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning powered Creighton to a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Sam Houston to give the Blue Jays a 2-0 record on the first day of the Bearkat Invitational Baseball Tournament Friday.

Earlier in the day, Creighton (5-1) defeated Northern Colorado 15-8.

Sam Houston (2-8) appeared headed for their third win of the season as outfielder Tyler Fiebrich blasted a bases loaded double all the way to the left field fence in the top of 10th inning to give the Bearkats a three-run lead. The double followed consecutive singles by Jordan Bunch, Kevin Miller and Greg Olson.

Creighton would not go away as the Blue Jays loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th Relief pitcher Matt Shleton hit two batters, walked another and gave up a single and a run. Justin Jackson came out of the pin to get the second out on a strike out but third baseman Jimmy Swift tied the contest 5-5 with a single to set up Thornburg’s winning play.

Shelton (0-2) took the loss. The comeback overshadowed an outstanding pitching performance by junior Dallas Gallant who tied the Sam Houston record for most strike outs by one hurler in an NCAA Division I game. Jessie Marshall set the record in 2005 against Lamar. Gallant spread four hits over eight innings.

Center fielder Mark Hudson doubled to give the Bearkats their first run in the third inning. The extra base hit scored Braeden Riley who singled.

Riley doubled in the fifth inning to score Jessie Plumlee after the third baseman singled to give the Bearkats a 2-1 lead.

Creighton opened with a run in the first inning as center fielder Robbie Knight walked, was sacrificed to second and scored on a single by right fielder T. J. Roemmich.

The Blue Jays tied the contest 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning as third base Jimmy Swift singled, was sacrificed to second and tallied on a single by first baseman Ian Dike.

Creighton won the opening game of the tournament defeating Northern Colorado 15-8.

The Bearkat Invitational baseball tournament continues Saturday as Creighton and Northern Colorado face off at 2 p.m. and Sam Houston State meets Northern Colorado at 6:30 p.m.

The tournament concludes with two Bearkat games on Sunday starting at 11 a.m.

Penn State 12, McNeese State 6

BEAUMONT, Texas – McNeese State dropped its fourth consecutive game on the diamond, dropping a 12-6 decision to Penn State in the second game of the Lamar Cardinal Classic.

The game was the first meeting between the two schools.

The Cowboys fell behind early as starting pitcher Tyler Davis gave up a run to the Nittany Lions in the bottom of the first inning on a Joey DeBernardis single that drove in Heath Johnson.

McNeese (4-5) answered in the top of the second as Josh Cholley’s double scored shortstop Matt Fontenot. The Lions would answer, however, scoring three runs in the bottom half of the second inning and then three more in the fourth.

The Cowboys showed life in the top of the eighth inning down 11-2 after Nittany Lion starter Ryan Ignas left the game. Mike Franklin threw one-third of an inning while giving up three McNeese runs. But the comeback fell short as Penn State added their final run in the bottom half of the inning, giving them the win.

Jace Peterson was 3-for-3 at the plate with three singles and a walk. Peterson also knocked in a run while scoring once himself and stealing three bases. Mace Hebert had a good day as well, going 3-for-4 during his first start of the season. Hebert had three singles as well with an RBI and two stolen bases.

“We tried to get some guys in the lineup who were getting hits,” McNeese State coach Terry Burrows said. “But the bottom line is their guy (Ignas) threw a good game. We couldn’t get adjusted to his sinker and he pounded us with it all game.”

Davis threw four innings for the Cowboys giving up seven runs on 10 hits and striking out four before being replaced by Matt Click in the fifth inning. Click gave up four runs in just three innings of work and was relieved by Trey Brown who closed out the game giving up the final Penn State (3-1) run.

“We’re hoping to take from this who we can put in a game and count on for next weekend once conference starts,” added Burrows. “I think we’re getting a good idea of who can throw the ball and be a weekend starter for us.”

McNeese will play in their final game of the tournament as they take on host team the Lamar Cardinals Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

San Francisco 3, UTSA 2
San Francisco 8, UTSA 2

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – San Francisco kept UTSA winless in the last six days with a 3-2, 8-2 doubleheader sweep on Friday afternoon at Cañada College’s Colt Field.

The two wins improved the Dons’ season record to 5-4, while the Roadrunners (5-4) remained without a victory since opening the campaign with five consecutive wins.

Derek Poppert capped a two-out, three-run seventh-inning rally with a two-run double down the left-field line and that sent San Francisco to a 3-2 triumph in the first game.

The Dons, who plated all three of their runs with two outs in the deciding final frame, got a one-out single from Jared Denham and Connor Bernatz then drew a walk off UTSA left-handed starter Casey Selsor. The Roadrunners sophomore was able to coax a pop-up off the bat of pinch hitter Travis Higgs for the second out of the frame, but Pete Lavin ended the shutout bid one hitter later with his single up the middle.

UTSA coach Sherman Corbett then called on his junior closer, Kevin Clarke, but the right-hander promptly gave up Poppert’s game-winning two-bagger.

Doug Murray (2-1) went the distance for USF, allowing two runs (one earned) on just three singles. The right-hander fanned eight, did not walk a batter in the 100-pitch (68 strikes) gem and retired the final 11 batters he faced.

Selsor (2-1), who took a shutout into the final frame for the second start in a row, was the hard-luck loser after surrendering all three seventh-inning runs. The San Antonio native gave up a half dozen hits, walked three and struck out a pair in his 6.2 innings.

Poppert was 3-for-4 in the opener and Denham added a pair of hits for San Francisco at the plate.

Juniors Brett Aguilar and Tyler Carpenter and sophomore Jason Mohn had UTSA’s three safeties, while junior Ryan Hutson was plunked twice and scored in the opening inning on a passed ball. Senior Lance Brown was the only other Roadrunner to cross the plate, doing so on freshman Jake Wood’s fielder’s choice to first in the fourth.

In the nightcap, USF jumped all over right-handed starter Mike Pierce early, chasing him from the contest in the second inning.

The Dons plated four runs in the first and another one panel later for an early five-run cushion. After UTSA got on the board with a mark in the third, San Francisco responded with single tallies in the fourth, sixth and seventh to put the game out of reach.

Southpaw Matt Lujan (1-1) picked up the win for San Francisco after giving up a run on just four singles in five-plus innings of work. Lujan walked four and whiffed a half dozen.

Stephen Yarrow, Jason Mahood and Denham led the Dons’ 16-hit attack with three safeties apiece in the six-run victory. Yarrow launched his third and fourth home runs of the season and drove in three, while Mahood stroked two doubles and a long ball to go along with a pair of runs and two RBI.

Hutson, meanwhile, tied his career high with four hits, a total that included a double and a triple, and he also scored once.

Pierce (0-1) allowed five marks on six hits, including a pair of homers, in his one-plus frame of action on the bump.

The series continues at 4 p.m. (CT) on Saturday with a single game tentatively scheduled to be played at USF’s on-campus facility, Benedetti Diamond (weather and field conditions permitting), in what would be the Dons’ 2010 home opener.

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