Cards’ 14th win in row another shutout; VDM hit string now 21

Published 11:36 pm Saturday, April 9, 2016

Lamar sports information

CORPUS CHRISTI —Following Friday night’s shutout, the Lamar baseball team, behind starter Billy Love, pushed its scoreless streak over the weekend to 16 1/3 innings Saturday evening when the Cardinals notched their 14th straight win in a 5-1 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Chapman Field in Southland Conference play.

The win extended the nation’s longest active win streak and is just three short of the nation’s longest streak on the season (17, No. 1 Florida) and tied the longest win streak in the Southland Conference. Fourteen consecutive wins is the longest in LU history since it took 19 straight in 1980.

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The win improved Lamar’s record to 24-7 overall and 9-2 in Southland Conference play while the Islanders fell to 11-19 and 3-8 in league action.

Love (3-1), who won his third-consecutive start, matched up against Devin Skapura (2-4) and went scoreless for three innings to start the ball game. The Cardinals put two on the board in the fourth, but every frame went scoreless again until both teams pushed across runs in the eighth.

Reid Russell singled up the middle to open the fourth inning, and he was cut down when Cutter McDowell rolled into to a fielder’s choice. McDowell when first to third on a single to left from freshman Robin Adames. Jacoby Middleton drove in McDowell with a single to right, Adames took third. Chaneng Varela scored Adames on sacrifice fly to central.

Love allowed five hits from the fourth to eighth innings, and stranded each runner. He ended his day in the eighth with 7 1/3 innings of work with seven hits and three walks. He gave up one run and struck out six Islanders.

Before the senior was pulled, he left the game with men on first and third and one out. In the top half of that inning, Jake Nash kicked off the frame with a single to left and then scored on Bryndan Arredondo’s triple.

Two batters later, McDowell drew a full count walk and Adames was plunked to load the bases. Middleton notched his second run batted in of the game on a sacrifice fly to center, and Varela singled to right field for his second RBI in McDowell.

With Islanders on first and third, Travis Moore took the hill for the Cardinals. He worked a 2-2 count to Justin Perales, who worked the pitch count with two more foul balls before he singled to right and score Zacarias Hardy, who led off the inning with a single to central. Moore ended the inning with strikeouts.

Enrique Oquendo took the mound in the ninth to close out the game, and immediately gave up a triple. Back-to-back strikeouts put the threat away and he ended the game on an infield pop-up.

Arredondo led the charge offensively with three of the nine team hits in four at-bats. He added one RBI and one run in the game.

Stijn van der Meer led the game off with a single to left, which extended his hit streak to 20 games. He is one of only four Cardinals to reach 20 straight games with a hit, and it’s the longest streak since Sam Bumpers’ school record 28 games.

The senior has also reached base in 29 consecutive contests, which ties Darian Johnson’s mark in 2013.

Leadoff to cleanup spots in the order (van der Meer, Nash, Arredondo and Russell) all had hits.

Skapura worked 7 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits with three walks.

Lamar will go for its third straight Southland Conference sweep and fourth straight weekend sweep overall at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Senior right-hander Jayson McKinley (2-0, 2.57 earned run average) will face righty Aaron Hernandez (2-3, 5.27) on the bump.

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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