Thomas Leads 'Jacks To Sweep Of 'Cats
May 4, 2008
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Kevin Thomas tossed seven strong innings for the Lumberjacks on Sunday and SFA held off Texas State 3-2 to finish off a three-game sweep of the Bobcats and stay in the thick of the race for a berth in the Southland Conference Tournament.
The win was the eighth in a row for the Lumberjacks (22-25, 9-14), extending the longest win streak for SFA in recorded history and is only the third time SFA has won a game when scoring less than seven runs this season. Couple the win with a 6-5 win by Nicholls State over Texas-Arlington and a 5-4 win by Lamar over Southeastern Louisiana, and the `Jacks are only 2 ½ games back of the Mavs and 1 ½ games back of the Lions for the final two spots in the SLC Tournament in three weeks in Huntsville.
Zack Tritz took the loss for the `Cats (24-22, 14-10), only the second of the year for him, while Thomas earned his fourth win of the year for SFA.
Thomas' seven innings was a career long for him as he only allowed two runs in that time, with only one run and two hits coming in his final six innings of work. He was lifted after walking the leadoff batter in the seventh inning, but Jared West got the next two batters out of the bullpen before Erich Lehmann came on to toss the final 1 1/3 innings for his second straight save.
Kevin Crabtree went 2-for-4 for SFA to extend his hit streak to 12 games, including having the eventual game-winning RBI in the fifth inning on a double to the left-center field gap that scored Kai Kirby.
The `Jacks trailed early when the second batter of the game, Adam Witek smashed a home run down the left-field line to make it 1-0 Texas State; however, the lead did not last long as SFA got the run back in their half of the first. Crabtree hit a one-out single to center field and then stole second, but Ben Theriot's throw from behind the plate was errant and allowed Crabtree to move all the way to third. Sean Meyers then drove him home with a ground ball to Witek at second base.
Meyers scored the second run of the game for SFA in the fourth, tripling past a diving Lourn Randell in center field to get into scoring position with only one out. It looked like he might be stranded there, though, as Tritz struck out Kevin Croft one batter later but left a 3-1 pitch over the plate for Justin Roland one batter later who laced it into left field for the RBI.
The lead was pushed to 3-1 when Crabtree drove in Kirby in the fifth, but thing did get testy down the stretch. Thomas let the first two hitters get on in the seventh, hitting Randell and then walking Theriot; however, he got a huge out when all-conference shortstop Thomas Field was caught looking at a curveball for strike three to get the first out if the inning. Randell moved up to third one batter later on a fielder's choice and eventually scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to one. Paul Goldschmidt then drew a walk with first base open, but Lance Loftin struck out swinging on three pitches to get Thomas out of the frame with the lead.
The `Jacks will have an opportunity to move into the top eight teams in the SLC next weekend when they host Texas-Arlington in a three-game series beginning Friday.