BASEBALL: 12-run second sparks LU rout of Nicholls

Published 12:20 am Saturday, April 28, 2018

Lamar sports information

THIBODAUX, La. – Scoring 12 runs in just the second inning, Lamar (15-28, 9-13 Southland) cruised to a 16-9 win Friday in the first of three Southland Conference games against Nicholls State (17-26, 7-12 SLC).

“That was a crazy inning, especially since our first two batters were first-pitch outs,” said head coach Will Davis. “I was really upset that we were probably going to give them a quick inning, which is the exact opposite of what we wanted to do against their starter when we know their bullpen isn’t the strongest. Lo and behold we scored 12 runs with two outs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before in all my years of college baseball. We had a lot of great at-bats and a lot of clutch hits, so it’s hard to remember all that happened in that inning.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Robin Adames went 5-of-6 on the night with a double and two RBIs, and Philip Ingram, Logan LeJeune, and Chad McKinney each had three RBIs. Tanner Driskill improved to 5-3 overall and a perfect 4-0 on Fridays — his one loss as a starter came on a Thursday.

Scoreless entering the second inning, it appeared as if the second inning would also go by without any scoring. Big Red was down to its final out when Grant DeVore was walked. He stole second during Avery George’s at-bat before George also drew a walk. A single by McKinney scored DeVore and pushed George to third, and that ignited the Cardinal bats.

Following McKinney’s example Philip Ingram, Cole Girouard, Adames, Cole Coker, and LeJeune all collected two-out singles, then Cole Secrest and DeVore drew walks. An error in George’s second at-bat scored one more, and singles by McKinney and Ingram scored two more. All told Lamar scored 12 runs in the inning on eight hits and two Colonel errors, and Tanner Driskill sat down the Colonels in order, keeping the score 12-0 through two. That run total was the most Lamar has scored in a single inning since putting up 14 in the first inning of an 18-4 win against Northwestern State on April 21, 2013.

Nicholls began to chip away at that 12-run lead in the fourth inning, scoring three runs on three hits and a Cardinal error. Lamar was held scoreless in the third, fourth, and fifth, and the score through five innings was 12-3 in favor of Lamar.

McKinney got his third hit of the night in the top of the sixth to push another Cardinal run across. DeVore led off the inning with a single before expiring on a fielder’s choice from George, who took his place on first. He spent just one pitch there before stealing second in McKinney’s at-bat. McKinney worked it to a 2-2 at-bat before hitting the first triple of his career. That hit scored George to give Lamar a 13-3 lead. Nicholls would chip away again in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run homer, a Cardinal error, and a sac fly, and after six innings Big Red led 13-6.

Neither team scored in the seventh, and LU got going again in the eighth. DeVore drew his third walk of the game at the lead-off spot, then George joined him on the base paths after another walk. A sac bunt from McKinney put both in scoring position, and a walk of Ingram loaded the bases. Girouard and Adames singled to score two runs for Lamar, and Chad Fleischman drew a walk to re-load the bases. A single from LeJeune safely brought home the final Cardinal run of the eighth, giving Lamar a 16-6 lead heading into the bottom of the inning.

Nicholls brought nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the eighth and brought three home safely on three hits, an error, a hit-by-pitch, and a sac fly. With the bases loaded and the best-hitting Colonel at the plate, Chet Jones came in and slammed the door, stranding three Colonels and preserving a 16-9 lead for Lamar.

Nicholls again managed to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and again Jones held on the mound. He used just three pitches to strike out the batter, and Lamar took a 16-9 victory.

“I almost feel like we’ve reached the point where we have a good offense,” said Davis. “It’s a totally different feeling from the beginning of the year. We don’t feel like we have to scratch runs to score, and now we believe of the course of nine innings we’ll be able to score enough. That change has really come from four guys that didn’t get to start at the beginning of the year and worked their way into the lineup. Phil Ingram, Logan LeJeune, Avery George, and Cole Girouard have really made their presences felt since they joined the starting lineup.”

The Cardinals return to action Saturday in the second game of the Lamar-Nicholls series. LHP Noah Sills (3-4, 3.58 ERA) will face RHP Cayden Hatcher (2-5, 4.65 ERA) with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.