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BASEBALL: Central Michigan holds back Lamar

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — Lamar (4-4) collected 16 hits and struck out 11, but double plays and walks limited the impact on both sides of the ball as Big Red ultimately fell 10-6 to Central Michigan (6-2) on Sunday.

“This whole pre-conference schedule is tough and it’s designed to get us ready for conference,” said head coach Will Davis. “The more we play the more we learn about our team, and we’re getting closer and closer to figuring this thing out. I do believe the ingredients are here to have a good season, and now all we have to do is put it all together.”

Neither team scored in the first inning as Grason Wright sat the Chippewas down in order and Cole Coker’s one-out single was erased on a double play, and the scoring started in the second with five combined runs in the inning. The Chippewas turned a leadoff double and a walk into three runs on a homer with no outs and got one more hit before a sac bunt, a strikeout, and a flyout ended the inning, and Lamar responded with a leadoff homer from Robin Adames and singles Anthony Quirion and Reese Durand to plate two. A double play earlier in the second inning struck down Jorge Gutierrez after he singled to left field. After two innings the score was close, 3-2, in favor of CMU.

Another double play in the third struck down Coker after he led off with a terrific bunt single down the left field line, and though Adames singled to short after the double play the Cardinals couldn’t bring him home. The score remained 3-2 in favor of CMU after three.

The fourth started with a strikeout but three consecutive walks loaded the bases. A 4-3 grounder scored one and two more walks drove home another run before a strikeout ended the inning with Central Michigan leading 5-2.

CMU stretched its lead to six runs, 8-2, in the fifth with three hits, a walk, and an errant fielder’s choice that achieved no outs, and Lamar responded with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. Coker drew a leadoff walk and came home on an RBI triple from Adames, putting the senior third baseman from The Bronx, New York, just a double short of the cycle. A sac fly from Gutierrez scored Adames to pull Lamar within four, 8-4, at the end of the sixth.

CMU take one more run on the sixth and in the seventh on three more hits, but Dylan Johnson, Marcus Olivarez, and Kristjan Storrie held the Chippewas scoreless the final two innings with a combined four strikeouts and just one hit allowed with no walks, allowing Lamar to attempt another late rally.

A solo shot by Quirion with one out in the eighth looked like it could be the start of Lamar’s comeback. Durand followed up the homer with a triple and came home on a sac bunt from George, and though Coker drew a walk in the next at-bat, a strikeout ended the threat. With just one inning left Lamar trailed by four, 10-6.

Adames drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second on a two-out single from Kemp but a strikeout ended the game. Central Michigan won 10-6.

The Cards return to action on Tuesday with the University of Houston coming to Vincent-Beck Stadium at 6 p.m. and a three-game series at home against BYU will close out February with games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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