Cards Finish Off Sweep Of 'Jacks
March 22, 2008
BEAUMONT, Texas - The `Jacks outhit the Lamar Cardinals for the second consecutive night, but for the second straight night it was Lamar getting the better of SFA as they pulled out a 6-5 win on Saturday to sweep the weekend series.
SFA (9-11, 1-5) scored a run in five of the nine innings on Saturday, but each time they did the Cardinals (14-7, 5-1) were there to answer. Lance Luetge took the loss for the `Jacks and fell to 3-2 on the year, going six innings on a sore ankle. Tim Erickson picked up his second win of the year with his seven-inning performance that saw him allow his first runs of the season.
The loss marks the first time SFA has been swept in a three-game set since Feb. 2007 at Baylor and is the first time since April 2006 against UT-Arlington that SFA has been swept in conference play.
Lamar aided the `Jacks in their first two runs, including the first inning when catcher Jeff Vickers threw wildly to third on an attempted steal by Kevin Crabtree. The errant throw allowed Crabtree, who had doubled two batters earlier, to give the `Jacks a 1-0 lead.
After the Cards tied things up without even getting a hit in the bottom of the first, SFA struck again in the second on a Cardinal miscue. Matt Whatley and Jeff Brewer singled consecutively, and Whatley came home when Erickson attempted to pick Brewer off at first and threw the ball off the wall in front of the LU bullpen; unfortunately, Brewer was tagged out at home attempting to score on the same play and got the Cards out of the inning.
Luetge got himself in trouble in the bottom half of the frame though, hitting a pair of batters in the second inning to set up three runs coming across for Lamar. The inning was the only inning of the game in which either team would score multiple runs, and eventually proved to be the difference in the game.
SFA got within one in the fifth when Jeff Brewer got on via bunt single - one of his three hits on the day - and advanced all the way to third when Erickson threw wildly to first for the second time of the game. It looked as though he might be stranded on third after Kai Kirby popped out, but Zach Gardner came through with a two-out hit to drive in Brewer and cut the lead in half at 4-3.
It only took one pitch for the Cards to answer in the fifth as Chris Dunkin's first home run of the season on the first batter of the frame down the right field line.
The `Jacks pulled within one again in the seventh when Jeffrey Kello doubled down the left field line to lead off and advanced to third when Whatley flew out to left field. Brewer then picked up his first RBI of the day when he grounded out to second base to score Kello.
Once again, though, Lamar would answer with a leadoff home run - this time by Steven Tucker, also his first of the season to right field. Donnie Watson then headed to the mound and pulled Luetge in favor of Erik Gregersen after six inning of work, and Gregersen took care of buiness the rest of the way with two shutout innings of his own.
Jim Gilligan then pulled Erickson and wet to the bullpen in the eighth and the `Jacks put together a two-out rally on the strength of a single from Kevin Croft and a double from Noel Trevino; however, after a walk to Justin Roland it was pinch hitter Sean Meyers that popped out off of Brian Needham to quell any rally that SFA might have had.
After Gregersen held down the fort in the eighth, Brewer homered to left field with one out in the ninth to cut the lead to 6-5; but Needham was on point on the next to hitters and got both Kirby and Gardner to ground out to end the game.
SFA continues play on Tuesday and Wednesday when it hosts Louisiana-Monroe, and SLC play continues Friday-Sunday when Northwestern State is in town.