Lamar nails berth in SLC tournament

Published 12:20 am Saturday, May 20, 2017

Lamar sports information

LAKE CHARLES – Led by a 4-for-4 night from Grant DeVore, several heroes appeared for Lamar baseball when the Cardinals clinched their spot in the Southland Conference Tournament with a 4-1 win over McNeese State on Friday night in league play at Joe Miller Ballpark.

The win puts the Cardinals (33-22, 16-13 Southland) into seventh place, a half-game behind Stephen F. Austin and Central Arkansas – who finished their regular seasons Friday with a sweep of Houston Baptist and Nicholls State, respectively. New Orleans sits in eighth with a 16-14 record. Nicholls was mathematically eliminated Friday.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

With a win Lamar would be a fifth seed, and with a loss it would be the eighth seed.

DeVore recorded singles for the Cardinals in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings. He also drew a walk in the eighth inning. Lamar’s pitching held the league’s leading offense in McNeese (35-18, 21-8) to just one run and had several dandy plays in the field.

Jace Campbell (4-4) stole the show early with back-to-back strikeouts to end a perfect first inning, and proceeded to strikeout five of the first nine batters he faced. Two of McNeese’s eight hits were in the second inning, but he held them hitless until the fifth.

The Cardinal offense staked him to an early 3-0 lead in the third inning when it rallied for four hits and took advantage of an error. Vincent Dellocono and DeVore started off the inning with back-to-back singles. On DeVore’s single, Dellocono ran from first to third, and scored on Phil Ingram’s single. Robin Adames reached on an error that loaded the bases for a RBI single through the left side from Reid Russell. Still with bases loaded, Bryndan Arredondo lifted a sacrifice deep to center field and sent home Ingram.

The Cardinals made fine defensive plays in the fourth and fifth innings, started with a diving grab and toss at first base from Trey Silvers. He and Campbell teamed up to get Joe Provenzano before Shane Selman hit a shot Chad Fleischman for the second out. Campbell and Silvers teamed up again for the third out on a barehanded grab and throw from the junior pitcher.

Galen Andrews took over for Campbell in the sixth inning with a runner on first with one out, and slammed the door with two flyouts. He worked around and error in the seventh and turned it over to Tanner Driskill — who notched his sixth save of the season. Driskill faced nine batters and stuck out four of them.

With an insurance run needed, Reid Russell blasted his 10th homer of the season with a leadoff bomb in the ninth inning.