Sam Houston State baseball dropped their first conference series of the season against Lamar to fall back to the third spot in Southland Conference rankings last weekend.
Bearkat ace Cody Dickson set the tone for the series in game one, lasting three and two-thirds innings, allowing 11 runs for a Cardinal run-rule 19-8 in seven innings.
The offense-heavy Bearkat lineup connected for a .268 series batting average against the Cardinals. SHSU kept Lamar leashed going into the bottom of the fourth down 3-4. Dickson worked into a quick two out inning before allowing a single and issuing two walks to load the bases. A series of mistakes including a wild pitch, two extra walks and mistake pitches resulted in two singles, driving in seven runs for the Cardinals to extend their lead 11-3.
Catcher Anthony Azar and third baseman Kevin Miller accounted for four runs from four hits, but they were not enough to hold off Lamar, who continued to tack on runs.
The Bearkats rekindled signs of life in game two with 7-4 victory from a sound performance by pitcher Andrew Godail.
Godail held Lamar to four runs in six and two thirds innings and received support from the Bearkat lineup with a comfortable 4-1 lead into the second inning.
Luke Plucheck hit 3-5 and tallied four RBIs on his season stats against the Cardinals. Plucheck set the stage with a two-RBI triple in the first inning. The left fielder would connect for a double in the gap for another two RBIs.
Reliever Jason Simms recorded his fifth save of the season with two and one thirds inning of relief to close game two.
Plucheck’s season best performance wasn’t enough to carry the Bearkats into game three as SHSU dropped the series with a 5-1 loss.
Pitching woes continued for the young Bearkat rotation with two walks issued from Caleb Smith for two runs.
Ryan O’Hearn narrowed Lamar’s lead 2-1 going into the bottom of the fifth but a solo homerun and two runs in the sixth added insurance to the Cardinal’s lead. Alan Scott closed for the Bearkats allowing two hits to silence the Cardinals in the final three innings.
SHSU will host nationally ranked Texas A&M for the second game of their two-game season series Tuesday at Don Sanders Stadium. Opening pitch is expected for 6:30 p.m.
The Bearkats will host Prairie View A&M Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. before conference opponents Oral Roberts drive in for a three game weekend series starting Friday.