Adames, Cardinals climb out of big hole to shock No. 7 Tigers

Published 12:06 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

BEAUMONT — Lamar had to make this interesting. The Cardinals couldn’t just get blown out at home, even if it was seventh-ranked LSU on their home field.

This mid-week classic had all the entertainment value the record crowd of 3,563 inside Vincent-Beck Stadium paid for … and more, perhaps.

Freshman Robin Adames, who was 0 for 8 to begin the season, drove in two runs on go-ahead single with two outs, and the Cardinals rocked the college baseball world Wednesday night with a come-from-behind 12-11 win over the national powerhouse Tigers, who finished fifth in the College World Series last June.

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“This is what you dream of, coming up big for your team,” Adames said. “This is what you live for.”

An eight-run second inning by LSU put Lamar in an 8-0 hole, and the host team erased that to go up two runs. But the Tigers (3-1) worked some of their Southeastern Conference magic and scored three runs on four seventh-inning singles to cling to an 11-10 lead.

No problem for Adames. The kid from the Bronx, New York, who broke his skid with a one-run double in the sixth inning, delivered in the eighth with a slap to center field off Caleb Gilbert to score Jake Nash and Cutter McDowell.

“Just getting down early, I was off on my timing and a little late,” Adames said about his clutch hits. “Got my foot down and put the barrel on the ball.”

This last season of Jim Gilligan’s at the helm is getting really good. And he had coach-in-waiting Will Davis, hired a month ago from the LSU staff, on his side to witness it all.

In fact, he let Davis — a former Tiger who served on the staff for eight years — call the shots.

“Regardless of the opponent, it was one of the greatest wins I’ve ever been a part of,” said Davis, serving as third base this season. “To come back twice like that shows the resiliency of our club. I think the sky’s the limit. I really do.”

Enrique Oquendo then came on to sit the Tigers down in order for his second save of the year.
Brett Brown (1-0), Lamar’s third pitcher of the night, got the win, holding LSU to three earned runs on five hits and striking out two in five innings.

“I’m so proud of Brett Brown,” Gilligan said. “Such a great kid. He hasn’t had the best of it to this point, but today, he made his mind up he was going to become a pitcher. He is legit. He did what he did against LSU. He didn’t do it against bottom-50 teams, and he was just phenomenal tonight.”

Lamar is now 5-0 for the first time since 2010 and has a strong case for a top-25 ranking in next week’s polls in the making. But that case won’t be complete until this weekend’s four-game showdown with North Dakota State (3-0), which includes a Saturday doubleheader.

Lamar homered for the third straight game, thanks in part to Bryndan Arredondo. His two-run jack just inside the left-field foul pole in the second got the Cardinals’ surge going.

Cutter McDowell, who went 2 for 4, kept it going. He hammered a two-run shot above the yellow line on the “green monster” in the fifth inning.

But the real fun for the Cardinals started in the sixth.

Adames doubled to right to score Arredondo, a 1-for-2 hitter on the night. Stijn van der Meer and Jacoby Middleton, who drove in a run in the third inning, walked, leading to Nash’s second straight double, scoring two runs with two out to tie the game at 8. McDowell, who’s hitting a team-leading .421, then doubled in two more runs to give the Cards their first lead.

But, this was LSU that Lamar was dealing with.

Greg Deichmann lined a two-run single and Cole Freeman drove in another to chase Brown. Jimmy Johnson only allowed a hit the following 1 2/3 innings for Lamar.

Starter Brent Janak was roughed up with six of LSU’s eight second-inning runs (all earned) on four hits, and he was finished after 1 1/3 innings. O’Neal Lochridge did most of the damage with a three-run bomb to left field.

Nash also went 2 for 4 with three runs scored for the Cardinals. Twins Beau and Bryce Jordan, Michael Papierski and Freeman each had two hits for the Tigers.

Starter Austin Bain gave up three earned runs on three hits and struck out three. Bugg (0-1) took the loss after two-thirds of an inning, responsible for the tying and winning run, and Gilbert came on to strike out three of his four batters faced.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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