Cards melt down in eighth

Published 11:57 pm Saturday, March 5, 2016

BEAUMONT — The Lamar Cardinals were doing just fine until the eighth inning came Saturday at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
The UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros plated four runs in the top of the eighth en route to a 7-3 victory in Game 2 of the weekend series. Game 3 is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start today.
UTRGV’s big hit came off the bat of designated hitter Austin Oakes. He slapped a three-run double to give the Vaqueros (4-7) a 5-2 cushion.
Oakes later scored on a Correy Davis fly out to push the lead to 6-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth.
Saturday’s game seemed to resemble Friday’s 4-1 win over the Vaqueros.
“We won [Friday] when they walked and hit a guy,” Lamar coach Jim Gilligan said. “Things got loaded up and then [Jake] Nash hits a triple that unloaded them. It was the same today for us. We walked a couple and hit a guy and they do the same thing. Almost identical ball games.”
UTRGV starter Andrew Garcia threw a complete game Saturday and allowed two earned runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts and no walks. He threw 121 pitches in the complete game victory to even his season record at 1-1.
“[UTRGV’s] starter did a great job of using the park,” Gilligan said. “Tip your hat to him. He did a great job. A complete game this time of year is very unusual but he was good.”
Lamar (8-4) got six strong innings from Jayson McKinley. He gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks. Lamar pitchers hit three UTRGV batters and allowed 10 hits.
Gilligan was impressed with McKinley’s work considering the pitcher’s father was reportedly ill Saturday.
“McKinley did his job today,” Gilligan said. “I’m sure he had a lot on his mind, but he gave us everything he had. We just couldn’t come up with the timely hit to back him up.”
Fernando Martinez (1-2) was credited with the loss for the Cardinals. He pitched one inning and gave up one run on no hits and a walk.
UTRGV went up 1-0 in the top of the first on a RBI single from Cole Loncar. The Cardinals tied the game in the bottom of the second when Lumberton graduate and Lamar freshman Ryan Erickson hit a RBI single to left to plate Robin Adames to make it 1-1.
Lamar went up 2-1 in the bottom of the third on a RBI double from catcher Bryndan Arredondo that scored Nash.
The Cardinals’ final run came across in the bottom of the ninth after Adames led off with a double and scored on a RBI double by Chaneng Varela to make the final score, 7-3.
Arredondo and Reid Russell were both 2 for 4 Saturday.
Former Nederland pitcher and Lamar junior Brett Brown threw one-third inning and allowed no runs and no hits.
Lamar senior Billy Love (0-0, 1.29 ERA) is expected to start today against UTRGV sophomore Ryan Jackson (0-2, 3.09 ERA).

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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