Love silences UIW offense

Published 11:03 pm Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lamar sports information
SAN ANTONIO — Lamar senior Billy Love went eight innings scattering nine surrendering only one run, while striking out seven to guide the Cardinals to a 3-1 win over Incarnate Word Saturday at Sullivan Field. The victory, LU’s (31-10/16-4 Southland) fifth in a row, pushed Love to 5-2 on the season, while UIW’s John Shull was stuck with the loss.
Just 24 hours after the Cardinals struck for 14 runs in the first three innings to blowout UIW, Big Red proved that it could also win a pitchers’ dual in the series.
But before Love threw his first pitch, the Cardinals provided him with a one-run.
For the second game in a row, senior Stijn van der Meer led the game off with a hit as he doubled down the left field line. Senior Jake Nash followed up with a single to center to move van der Meer to third. Van der Meer scored moments later, but it came on a double play off the bat of Cutter McDowell.
Despite coming away with only one run in the inning, Love would make it last until the LU offense could get going again. UIW had runners on base in every inning but Love was able to pitch around every threat.
UIW’s Eddy Gonzalez singled to right field with one out in the first, but Love responded by striking out Austin Hoffman, and getting Brance Kahle to hit into a fielder’s choice. It was a similar story in the bottom half of the second as Love hit Matt Morris with one out in the inning. Love went right after the next batter forcing Weston Pitts to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Lamar offense provided Love with an insurance run in the top half of the fourth inning. McDowell led off the inning with a double. He came around to score when Reid Russell belted a double down the left field line. Russell moved up to third on a wild pitch but Cardinals were unable to bring him around.
Big Red tacked on a third run in the visitor’s half of the fifth. Similar to the previous inning, LU got the offense started with a leadoff double, this time off the bat of junior Trey Silvers. He was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and came around to score when van der Meer reached on a fielding error at second base.
The three runs would be all LU would score Saturday, and it would be more than enough for Love and the Cardinals’ defense. San Antonio’s version of the Cardinals tried to answer in the home half of the fifth getting a leadoff triple off from Trey Rodriguez, but Love stranded him there. Love struck out the next two UIW batters and got Gonzalez to end the inning by flying out to center field.
UIW mounted one more threat in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded and only one out, UIW’s Matt Morris reached on a fielder’s choice to plate the runner from third, trimming the LU lead to 3-1, but that would be as close as UIW would get as Love got the next batter to fly out to center field to end the inning.
Senior Fernando Martinez pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his second save of the season. After giving up a leadoff walk, Martinez retired the next three batters in order for the save.
The Cardinals go in search of the series sweep Sunday in the finale. The game against UIW is slated to begin at 1 p.m. from Sullivan Field.

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