LAMAR ROUNDUP: Vaqueros count on long ball, dump Lamar in series opener

Published 1:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2017

Lamar sports information

EDINBURG – Two home runs in the fourth inning gave UT Rio Grande Valley a lead, and the Lamar University baseball team was not able to overcome it in a 3-1 loss Friday night at the UTRGV Baseball Stadium in Edinburg in non-conference action.

The contest was the series opener of a three-game set for the two squads, and the last two will be played at noon on both today and Sunday. The win moved UTRGV (9-1) back into the win column after a loss on Tuesday, and for the Cardinals (6-4) it was the third-straight loss.

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Sunday’s finale can be seen live on Spectrum Sports, channel 323 for Spectrum cable subscribers.

On a full count, after a narrowly-missed called ball, Austin Siener popped a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning. LU starter Tanner Driskill (1-1) forced the next two out on fly outs, but Joseph Collazo turned on a fast ball and drilled it over left field wall, just inside the foul pole.

It was Driskill’s first loss of the season in his third start. He worked seven innings with four hits allowed, three runs and struck out four batters. He pushed his consecutive innings without a walks stretch to 19.2 frames.

The Cardinals had their chance to answer in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and no outs, but UTRGV starter Carter Johnson (3-0) was able to bear down with two strikeouts after surrendering three-straight walks that loaded the bases. Johnson did surrender a run in the inning on a wild pitch that allowed Cole Coker to scamper home. Johnson pitched five innings with just the one run allowed, and struck out six with five walks.

Up 2-1, the Vaqueros added an insurance run in the bottom of fifth on an RBI-single off of Jose Garcia that scored Tyler Torres. Torres led off the inning with a single to left field.

In the top of the seventh frame, LU was able to get a runner to third base with just one out, but UTRGV reliever Josh Witherspoon was able to escape the inning with a strikeout and fly out.

Reid Russell saw his 10-game hit streak snapped, but he missed his third home run of the season by a foot heading into the wind. He drove a one ball, one strike pitch to deep left field, where Garcia was able to track it down and catch it at the wall.

The Cardinals were held to just three hits in the game, the fewest since they had two against Illinois in 2015. They drew seven walks — tied for the third-highest on the year — but  was not able to get the timely hit and stranded eight on the base paths.


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Lamar senior Ashley McDowell set a school record with her 20th career home run as the Cardinals (6-11) split a pair of games at the Wooo Pig Classic hosted by the University of Arkansas on Friday.

McDowell’s homer came in LU’s first game of the day, an 11-1 win over IUPUI, as she snapped the tie she had with Casey Cromwell for the school mark. McDowell had three hits in the win and added two hits in LU’s 11-3 loss to the host Razorbacks in the Cardinals’ second game of the day.

“The game of softball is crazy,” LU coach Holly Bruder said. “You win by the mercy rule one game, and get mercy ruled the next game. There were four games today, and three ended with the mercy rule being applied.”

• LU 11, IUPUI 1: McDowell went 3-for-4, being a triple shy of the cycle, as the Cardinals defeated the Jaguars.

McDowell drove in two runs, giving her 92 for her career, two shy of Jenna Holland’s school record of 94 career RBIs.

Kelly Meeuwsen also had three hits to go along with three RBIs for the Cardinals, while Brittany Rodriguez, Brynn Baca and Shelby Henderson added two hits apiece in LU’s 13-hit onslaught.

• Arkansas 11, LU 3: Nicole Schroeder’s grand slam in the fifth inning ended the game on the mercy rule as the Razorbacks (14-1) overcame an early deficit to topple the Cardinals.

The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an unearned run, and seemed poised to cut into Arkansas’ 4-1 lead in the third inning, loading the bases with no outs, but only pushing one run across.

The Razorback scored three in the fourth inning before plating all four of their fifth-inning runs on Schroeder’s grand slam to end the contest.

LU starter Laura Napoli (3-4) took the loss, allowing six hits and four runs, all earned, over two innings. Amie Cisneros allowed eight hits and seven runs, all earned in 2 1/3 innings.

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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