The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Lamar baseball team staged a torrid rally in Friday night's game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but ultimately, it wasn't enough to overcome the Islanders' hot start as the Cardinals fell 9-7 at Chapman Field.
Jonathan Dziedzic got the start on the mound for the Red and White, but after giving up four runs in the opening frame, he was hooked for the loss, dropping to 6-3 on the year. He ended with seven runs allowed (six earned) on nine hits in four innings of work.
The Islanders (29-20, 14-8 Southland) grabbed the opening lead when three straight hitters reached base with one out, capped by an Eric Weiss RBI single. Zach Taylor laced a two-out triple later in the frame, scoring moments later on Brandon Tierney single up the middle.
Tierney further added his influence to the game in the fourth, homering on the second pitch he saw, and a Jonathan Gonzales single coupled with a throwing error by Jude Vidrine in right field brought two more across to stretch the TAMUCC lead to seven.
Hunter Perry relieved Dziedzic on the mound in the fifth, but a pair of errors by Aaron Olivas and Sam Bumpers brought another score home before the Cards began to mount their response in the ensuing inning.
A Brad Picha double and V.J. Bunner single brought home three scores in the sixth, and LU kept it going as both Vidrine and Zach Luevanos scored in the seventh, with the latter crossing home on an Olivas sacrifice fly.
Picha went on to finish 3-for-5 with two RBI and two scores, and Bunner knocked in three runs while going 2-for-4. As a team, however, LU was out-hit 12-8.
Errors doomed the Cards (33-16, 12-10 SLC) following the seventh inning stretch, allowing another Islander run, but after Picha led off the eighth with a single, Bunner followed up with a two run-shot to left, moving his team-leading home run total to six and cutting the deficit back to two.
Lamar, which entered the weekend as the best fielding team in the country, committed an uncharacteristic four errors in the game.
The ninth proved to be dramatic, but the Cards were unable to advance the tying run from first, and the Islanders held on for the victory.
The two sides will meet again on Saturday, and first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.