• 72°

BASEBALL: Walks catch up to Cards in 12-5 loss to Owls

Lamar sports information

HOUSTON ­— Lamar (6-10) jumped out on Rice (8-10) early but couldn’t quite hold on Tuesday evening, ultimately falling 12-5 to the Owls in Reckling Park. Rice’s comeback effort was largely fueled by seven walks and four hit batters.

Rice got the scoring started in the first with a lead-off triple that came home just two pitches later. The Owls collected three hits in the inning, the only three hits Rice had against starter Dylan Johnson. A strikeout and a fielder’s choice ended the Rice threat.

Lamar took advantage of an early miscue by Rice to kick-start its offense. Anthony Quirion reached on an error from the pitcher and advanced to second on first-pitch hit by Rhett McCall. Logan Berlof collected his first hit of the year to load the bases, and a wild pitch during Avery George’s at-bat scored Quirion. A single from Reese Durand pushed two more Cardinals home, giving LU a 3-1 lead that Johnson protected in the bottom of the second.

Quirion continued to score runs in the third inning. Cole Coker singled with one out and came home in the next at-bat, when Quirion knocked the laces off a ball that scored both Cardinals. Lamar led 5-1 through three innings thanks to a 1-2-3 bottom of the third by Johnson.

Rice began to chip away in the bottom of the fourth. A two-out double down the left field line reached third on a single and came home on a sac fly. Another single to left scored a run on an errant throw and Lamar led by just two, 5-3.

Both defenses bent but didn’t break in the fifth. Quirion led off the top of the inning with a single and reached second when Durand was hit by a pitch. A sac bunt from Jorge Gutierrez advanced Durand and Quirion to second and third, respectively, but a popup and a grounder to second ended the threat.

Rice responded by loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning. Jack Dallas struck a batter out and got a liner to right to keep the Owls off the board and strand three. After five, Lamar led 5-3.

Tough luck and big swings by Rice allowed the Owls to take their first lead since the first inning. A leadoff triple was joined on base by a walk. A one-out double scored the runner on third and put another on third, and a one-out single scored two more. A grounder to Dallas and a foul-out to third ended the inning, but not before Rice led 6-5.

Execution errors plagued Lamar in both halves of the seventh inning. Quirion tripled to lead off the seventh and was stranded on two strikeouts and a 5-3 grounder. Lamar was an out away from a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half when an error allowed Rice to stay alive. Two walks, two hit-by-pitch, and a wild pitch scored three for the Owls to give Rice a 9-5 lead and put the game out of reach.

Rice scored three more in the bottom of the eighth thanks to four hits and two wild pitches, leading 12-5, the final margin of the game.

LU put runners in scoring position in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings with a runner just 90 feet from home in the sixth, seventh, and eighth but couldn’t quite capitalize in any of those innings.

Quirion had a great night hitting with just a double short of the cycle.

Six of Lamar’s next seven games will be on the road including a three-game series at McNeese on Friday-Sunday.

The Cards will briefly return home to host Southern on Tuesday and then head back on the road to face Northwestern State and Texas A&M.