New jack city: Arredondo’s 9th-inning shot wins it for LU

Published 11:55 pm Friday, February 26, 2016

BEAUMONT — Will Davis unofficially owns a 2-0 coaching record, and the future of Lamar baseball just got even brighter.

So did the present.

Bryndan Arredondo smacked a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, giving Lamar a 7-6 win over previously undefeated North Dakota State on Friday. It’s also the second walk-off win already this season for the Cardinals (6-0), off to their best start in seven years. The last time they began 5-0, the Bison ended that streak.

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“I was just looking for a pitch over the plate that I could drive,” Arredondo said. “I had a hitter’s count there. You know what? I hit a pitch I could drive, and I did it with the best swing I could put on that ball.”

Davis, who already is the Cards’ head coach-in-waiting for the 2017 season, called the shots for Jim Gilligan, who was feeling sick. Gilligan let Davis call Wednesday’s 12-11 come-from-behind win against Davis’ alma mater and former employer, LSU, before a Vincent-Beck Stadium record crowd of 3,593.

“I’m just a cog in this whole thing,” Davis said. “It feels great. After Wednesday, you never think you can top something like that. It was one of those games where things didn’t feel like they were going your way, and you just got to keep fighting because you never know, and our guys did that.”

Friday’s game drew only a fraction of that, but the 611 in attendance saw the Cardinals win in the clutch again.

This time, the role of savior went to Arredondo, who has two home runs this season.  He finished 3 for 4 with two runs batted in to lead the Cards.

His game-winning jack is the Cards’ eighth this season and seventh since Monday’s win over Arizona.

“You know what? One through nine, everybody can hit,” Arredondo said. “We’re just coming together as a team. Our team chemistry is great.”

Jimmy Johnson (2-0) picked up his second straight win after holding the Bison (3-1) to one hit and one walk in the final three innings.

“I told him when came in with runners on first and third, no outs, I don’t care if that guy scores and ties it up, we’re going to get another run,” Davis said. “You don’t let that guy at first score. He came through and did the job for us. What can you say about that kid right there, and he gave us a chance to win it right there in the ninth?”

Johnson came on for Galen Andrews, who allowed a one-run triple to Ben Petersen, an RBI single to Mason Pierzchalski and two walks for his entire stint. Jayse McLean singled home the tying run off Johnson, who settled from there and pitched his own gem.

Starter Will Hibbs, last week’s opening-night winner, was tagged for three earned runs on seven hits in six innings.

Hibbs overcame a rough three-run fourth inning that saw the Bison take a 3-1 lead. He issued a bases-loaded walk to Logan Busch and then a two-run double to Drew Fearing, all with two outs. Mayo allowed three straight singles in the Cardinals’ half of the inning before striking out the next two, but he was done after that.

Mayo struck out six and allowed one run — on a Jake Nash first-inning double — on six hits.

Gavin Tristan, a 2-for-4 hitter, started a 10-batter fifth for the Cardinals with a single. Jacoby Middleton drew the third straight walk to force in a run, Cutter McDowell singled in another to tie it at 3-3, and Arredondo (walk), Trey Silvers (error at right field) and Brendan Satran (sacrifice) each batted in a score.

Blake Stockert, relieving Brian VanderWoude, settled down after giving up the McDowell hit and held Lamar to three hits in four innings. He struck out five, all in the seventh and eighth.

But Sean Terres (0-1) took the mound in the ninth. After retiring the first two batters, Arredondo drove a 3-1 pitch out of the park.

Stijn van der Meer, McDowell and Tristan each ahd two hits. Mason Pierzchalski went 3 for 5 and Ben Petersen 2 for 5 for NDSU.

Lamar and NDSU will continue the four-game series today with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Jayson McKinley for Lamar and Alex Rogers for NDSU will start the opener, with Fernando Martinez (1-0) and Reed Pfannenstein (0-0) expected to go at it in the day cap.

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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