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BASEBALL: Cards back up Hranicky in win over Horned Frogs

Lamar sports information

FORT WORTH — Lamar (17-34) rode 10 hits and five Horned Frog errors Tuesday night for a 10-5 victory at Texas Christian (28-22). The Cardinals struck out 10 and allowed just five earned runs on eight hits.

“After a pretty tough weekend and a lot of travel, I’m really proud of how the guys responded tonight,” said head coach Will Davis. “It says a lot about the character of the kids we have in this program, and it was great to see them all get a win. It was a total team effort tonight.”

Starter Josh Hranicky went 3 2/3 innings of three-run baseball. He struck out one while walking six and allowing three hits. Ryan Erickson, Erik Key, Jack Dallas, and Noah Sills combined for 5 1/3 innings with two runs on five hits and five walks while striking out a total of nine batters.

Lamar got started quickly with a three-run first inning. Avery George led off with a single to left and reached second on a bunt single by Cole Girouard. An error loaded the bases and back-to-back RBI grounders from JC Correa and Robin Adames scored three. Hranicky held TCU in check and through the first LU led 3-0.

Neither team scored in the second and LU returned to the scoreboard in the third. Girouard and Correa doubled in the inning to score one before a diving tag by the pitcher kept Adames from reaching first and ended the frame. The Cardinal defense got the first of its three double plays on the evening in the bottom half to stay ahead 4-0 through three innings.

Two errors and a wild pitch scored one more for LU in the fourth. Anthony Quirion got on first on an error by the catcher and reached third on an error by the pitcher. A wild pitch in the next at-bat let Quirion hustle home. A homer and five walks in the bottom of the inning pushed home three runs for the Horned Frogs, and Lamar led 5-3 through four innings.

A walk of George to open the fifth was cut down in a fielder’s choice from Girouard, but two-out singles by Correa and Adames scored Girouard. Adames’ hit was his 251st, putting him within five hits of the Cardinal career hits record. The third double play of the evening for LU’s defense kept the Frogs scoreless in the bottom of the fifth and LU maintained a 6-3 lead through five.

LU threatened again in the sixth and seventh with three more bases runners, but all three were stranded. Key locked in for the bottom of the sixth after a single and a walk by striking out the next two he saw. A pop-up to second ended the inning, and in the bottom of the seventh LU bent but didn’t break. The Cards gave up a walk and a single before a liner to center and two strikeouts by Jack Dallas stranded runners on the corners. LU led 6-3 through seven.

Lamar tacked on three more runs in the eighth. Quirion wore one before being sat down in a fielder’s choice from Reese Durand. Rhett McCall joined him on the base paths on a hit-by-pitch, and a single by George loaded the bases. A passed ball scored Durand and Cole Coker doubled home McCall and George. Correa was also hit-by-pitch, but a strikeout ended the inning.

Dallas struck out the first batter he faced in the eighth before a line drive to his leg rebounded into a single and an error that put the runner on second. Dallas walked the next batter and Noah Sills relieved him with runners on first and second and one out. He got a grounder to second before a wild pitch scored one for TCU. With two outs and a 1-2 count Sills gave up a bloop single that scored another run before striking out the final batter. Through eight innings Lamar led 9-5.

Lamar got one final run in the top of the ninth. Chase Kemp was hit by a pitch and advanced to second and third on back-to-back wild pitches. An error brought him the final 90 feet home. Sills returned in the bottom of the ninth and after allowing a lead-off single he got two strikeouts and a foul out to end the game. Lamar won 10-5 over TCU.

The Cardinals return to action on Thursday with the final three games of the year, hosting Central Arkansas at Vincent-Beck Stadium.