Festival of doubles: Cardinals’ offense leaves Stags staggering

Published 9:58 pm Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT – A dominant offense, driven by Trey Silvers, helped the Lamar baseball squad bounce back with 19-9 and 5-1 wins over Fairfield to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader at Vincent-Beck Stadium in non-conference action.

Silvers, who was 4 of 7 with three doubles and three runs batted in on the day, led a surge of 10 doubles by the Cardinals (6-1) in the early contest, and drove in one and scored two in the nightcap. He helped LU bounce back from a tough loss to the Stags (1-2) Friday night. LU goes for the series win at 10:30 a.m. this morning.

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“It was an emotionally draining day. Unfortunately we won’t get to enjoy our success too much because we play at 10:30 (Sunday),” said head coach Will Davis. “We did all we could today, and that was win two.  I’m extremely proud of our guys.

“With last night’s heartbreaker, it was great to see the team respond,” he said. “We had so many great at-bats today. Over the long haul it’s going to pay off and I think it’s a reason we’re 6-1.”

In both games, Lamar scored runs in the opening inning – the fourth and fifth times it has done so in 2017. Cutter McDowell – who was moved to the top of the order Saturday – opened the Cardinal frame of the first game with a double to left center field, and was chased home by Silver’s first double. After a walk to Reid Russell at the cleanup spot, Robin Adames – who was also had four hits – pushed across Silvers on one of his two doubles. Adames later came around on Chaneng Varela’s RBI single.

McDowell flourished in the leadoff spot with four hits in eight at-bats, drew two walks and scored three in both contests combined.

In the third inning of the opener, Lamar batted around – one of the two times it did – and scored five runs, with the biggest blow from center fielder Brendan Satran. His one-out single up the middle scored Varela and Payton Robertson. Bryndan Arredondo led off the inning with walk and Silvers sent him home with his second double. Varela added his second RBI of the game in that inning with a safety squeeze bunt that scored Silvers.

Robertson earned his first career start and was 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. His two RBI came in the sixth, with Lamar up 11-4, on a ripped double to left center field that scored Grant DeVore and Adames.

Adames reached on a single that loaded the bases, and Devore drew walk that scored one.

Silvers led off the seventh with his final two-bagger of the game followed by a single from Russell, which extended his hit streak to six on the year and would later make it seven in the nightcap. Silvers scored on a double to right center by Adames, and both Adames and Russell scored on a double from DeVore.

The punches kept on coming even after LU emptied the bench in the eighth. Mike Leal doubled down the right field line and pushed across Chad McKinney. Nathan Gabryszwski scored on a sacrifice fly from Chad Fleischman.

The early offense kept rolling for Big Red in the second contest, three runs in the first inning and another in the fourth. Back-to-back singles to start from McDowell and Arredondo, followed by a walk to Silvers loaded the bases for Russell. Russell and Adames both drew walks to score two, and two outs later Satran was plunked to add another.

In the fourth, McDowell scored on a sacrifice fly from Silvers. He reached on a walk and moved from first to third on a single through the right side by Arredondo.

LU was held quiet until the eighth when it added some insurance on a RBI double from Russell that scored Silvers.

All told, Lamar put up 28 hits on the day with 24 runs scored and 21 RBI. The 10 team doubles in the first contest ranks second all-time for team doubles in a single game. As a unit, the Cardinals notched 13 walks and struck out nine times.

“I think we do a good job of taking pitches that we shouldn’t chase,” said Davis. “It does give us walks but it also puts us in advantage counts and allows us to hammer fastballs. We have a lot of veteran hitters who can handle a breaking ball as well.

“When you have mature hitters like that, they can pick up information as the game goes on,” he said.

Carson Lance (2-0) started the first game and worked five innings. He gave up only one earned run, had four hits, struck out three and walked two. Jace Campbell started the second game and was rolling through four innings before he had to be pulled.

Brett Brown (1-0) grabbed the win on an inning of scoreless work and Brent Janak followed with two innings and one run allowed. Jimmy Johnson earned a six-out save, and was perfect with two punchouts.

Adames was 4-of-5 alone in the first game, which extended his then team-high hit streak to 14, but it was snapped in the second contest. Arredondo was 3 of 9 in both games and Russell was 3 for 7.

Once the series with the Stags is over, Lamar will play its first midweek and road game against Texas on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on the Longhorn Network.