BASEBALL: Cards warm up, win fifth straight

Published 2:01 am Saturday, April 21, 2018

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — A season-high six runs scored in the fifth inning paved the way for the fifth-consecutive win for Lamar (12-26, 7-12 Southland). The Cardinals took down Abilene Christian (18-18, 4-15 SLC) in a 7-5 victory Friday night.

“The fifth inning was great,” said head coach Will Davis. “Incredible situational stuff; Avery George and Cole Girouard came out at 1:45 p.m. for 40 minutes and practiced bunting and both of them had bunt hits, so I guess we’ll be doing that again [today]. Chad McKinney had a great hit and DeVore got us going with a double, and I’m probably leaving some stuff out here because we had 10 guys appear at the plate in that inning, but it was really great. That inning ultimately won us the ball game.”

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Tanner Driskill stepped up yet again for Big Red, earning his third straight win in six and two-thirds innings of work. The senior from Round Rock allowed two earned runs off seven hits while walking two and striking out two, his 99th and 100th career strikeouts.

Jack Dallas got the final out of the seventh on a 1-4-3 groundout, and Ryan Erickson got his second save of the year in an inning and a third of scoreless baseball.

Grant DeVore got the party started in the fifth with a leadoff double down the left field line. A bunt single from Avery George put runners on the corners with no outs, and Chad McKinney got his fourth RBI of the year on the first pitch he saw, singling through the left side to score DeVore. With Cardinals on first and second and no outs Ingram drew a five-pitch walk to load the bases, and a sac fly from Girouard gave Lamar a 2-0 lead.

Robin Adames doubled to center field to clear the bases for a 4-0 Lamar lead and ran the pitcher, and Cole Coker singled up the middle on the first pitch from the reliever, scoring Adames. DeVore fittingly capped off the scoring in the inning with a two-out single through the left side that scored Coker. After five Lamar led 6-0.

A one-out single by LeJeune got the Cardinal bats hot again in the bottom of the seventh. Cole Secrest followed his example in the next at-bat, singling through the left side. DeVore earned his second RBI of the night on his third hit, doubling down the right field line. After seven Lamar led 7-3.

Four Wildcat hits in the top of the eighth scored two more runs before Erickson was able to slam the door shut, and Lamar took a 7-5 decision for its fifth straight win.