Four run 8th sends Lamar to 6-2 win over McNeese
BEAUMONT – Lamar scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning off McNeese closer Aidan Anderson with the scored tied 2-2, as the Cardinals won the second game of the weekend Southland Conference series by a 6-2 score.
The win comes a day after the Cardinals (18-36, 12-17 SLC) defeated McNeese (25-30, 15-14) by a 12-5 mark in Thursday’s series opener that saw Lamar put 20 hits up on the board.
The Cardinals popped 10 hits against three Cowboy pitchers on Friday night, four of those coming in the eighth inning.
With the game tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the frame after McNeese batters went down in order in the top of the inning, Anderson took the mound to relieve Zach Rider who threw the previous two innings and allowed just one hit and not runs.
Thins started out with a walk to Cole Coker and Logan Lejeune knocked him in with a double to right-center to break the tie. A sacrifice bunt moved Lejeune to third then Grant Devore followed with a single to score a run and make it a 4-2 game. Chad McKinney followed that with a double to put runners on second and third then a two-run single by Avery George put Lamar up 6-2.
McNeese had eight hits in the game as Shane Selman and Reid Bourque each had two. Joe Provenzano extended his hitting streak to 13 games, tying a career-high, and knocked a run in. That hit also gave him the 250th hit of his career.
Lamar got on the board first with two runs in the third inning off McNeese starting pitcher Cayne Ueckert.
McNeese threatened in the fourth with singles by Selman and Bourque to start off the frame but then a double play ball and strike out ended the rally.
In the fifth, Dustin Duhon got things going with a double down the right field line, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Cochran, and scored when Mitchell Rogers hit a sac fly to left field, making it a 2-1 game.
The Cowboys tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth when Provenzano singled in Jacob Stracner while reached on an error to lead off the inning.
McNeese managed just one hit in the final three innings as Lamar reliever Ryan Erickson (3-1) picked up the win after throwing the final 1 2/3 innings without allowing a hit or run. Starter Noah Sills threw 7 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits.
Ueckert went five innings for the Cowboys, giving up two runs on five hits with four strike outs and five walks.
The teams will close out the regular season on Saturday with the first pitch set for 2 p.m.
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