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Cardinals take off in middle innings

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — Lamar used six runs in the middle innings to grab a lead and blow the game open when the Cardinals downed Grambling State 11-2 at Vincent-Beck Stadium in non-conference action Tuesday night, in a rain-delayed contest.

Contributions came from all over the LU (19-15) order with no player scoring more than one run in the middle three innings and only Robin Adames multiple runs batted in the span. Grambling (11-21) tied the contest at 2-2 in the top of the third.

Cole Coker led off the fourth inning with a single up the middle. He advanced to third when Chad McKinney was plunked by a pitch and Grant DeVore reached on a bunt single, which loaded the bags. Coker scored on Phil Ingram’s single to right center. McKinney scored when Cutter McDowell drew a bases-loaded walk, and DeVore was the final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to right field from Adames.

LU added another in the fifth inning on a sac fly to right from McKinney that scored Trey Silvers from third base. Silvers led of the frame with a double to right center and took third base on a beautifully-placed bunt single by to the third base side by Brendan Satran.

Adames delivered his two-RBI double in the sixth and scored McDowell from third base and Russell from second. McDowell reached on a one-out hit by pitch and Russell poked one into center field that put men on first and second. On 2-2 pitch to Adames, both McDowell and Russell took off on a double steal that put both in scoring position, and Adames popped a double down the right field line.

“We had some really good at-bats and scored three innings in a row to get a 6-2 lead,” said head coach Will Davis. “The story in these midweek games is typically pitching. If you can hold the other team to two runs, you’ll win most your games.”

Once LU gained its lead in, it’s pitching shutdown the Tigers with no runs allowed in the final six innings. Brett Brown (1-0) entered the game before the lead was taken, but held GSU down for 2 ⅔ scoreless frames. The senior gave up three hits and no walks, and struck out four batters.

“Brett had some rocky outings in a row, but pitched really well at (New Orleans) and pitched really well tonight. It looks like he is starting to get back in to sync,” said Davis. “Ryan Cawthon is really getting better every time out, and is really tough on those right-handed hitters. It’s great to see a guy in his fifth year has found a little niche and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Cawthon took over in the seventh inning and worked 2 1/3 scoreless, no-hit innings and struck out three batters to one walk. Tanner Driskill came with an out in the ninth and closed it out.

The Cardinals struck first with two runs on Chad Fleischman’s two-out double into left center with the bases loaded in the third inning. The junior chased home McDowell and Russell. McDowell reached with a two-out single, followed by a walk issued to Russell and single from Adames.

The Tigers responded with to in the top of the fourth with two runs, largely due to errors. Daniel Barnett led off the top of the inning with a single up the middle and Tray Bell drew a walk to put two on. Johan Mojica squared around to put down a bunt when Fleischman picked up the ball charging and put it just out of the reach of first baseman Trey Silvers. Barnett scored on the play and allowed Bell to get to third for Rafael Ramirez, who reached on an error in the next plate appearance.

Ryan Johnson started on the mound for the Cardinals. He worked two scoreless innings with two hits and one walk allowed.