March 1, 2006
HOUSTON - Pinch-hitter Andrew Leal drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth to break a tie and lift Lamar to a 5-4 win over the University of Houston baseball team on Tuesday at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
The Cougars (7-6), who saw their four-game winning streak snapped, tied the game in the top of the inning on Dustin Kingsbury's RBI-single. But the Cardinals took advantage of three hits and an error in the next half-inning to load the bases and set the stage for Leal's two-out performance.
UH reliever Clayton Boone collected the loss and dropped to 0-1 after giving up one unearned run off two hits with a strikeout in 0.1 innings of relief.
Josh Stirneman went 2-for-4 with a home run to lead the Cougars. Infielder Dustin Kingsbury went 1-for-3 with an RBI to extend his hitting streak to right games, while sophomore infielder Bryan Tully and junior DH Brad Lincoln's hits pushed their hitting streaks to six games each.
Lamar reliever Justin Walker earned the win and improved to 1-0 after limiting the Cougars to one run off two hits with three strikeouts in three innings of work. Chuckie Platt collected his second save after throwing a shutout ninth inning.
Will Henderson finished the night 3-for-4 with a run, double and RBI to lead Lamar, which outhit the Cougars 10-6. C.J. Ebarb and Erik Kanaby also batted 2-for-4 with a run.
The Cougars return to action this weekend as they meet No. 8 LSU in a three-game series at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. That series begins at 6:30 p.m., Friday, continues at noon, Saturday and wraps up at 1 p.m., Sunday.
Fans should note that Saturday's game time was moved up earlier in the week to avoid a conflict with the LSU men's basketball game later that day.
All three games can be heard live on www.UHCougars.com with former letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans also can follow live stats by clicking on the "Gametracker" link at www.UHCougars.com.
The Cardinals put the first mark on the scoreboard in the second inning. After reaching on a two-out double down the left-field line, Will Henderson gave Lamar a 1-0 lead following a Cougar infield miscue.
However, the Cougars responded in their next at-bat with one of their trademark two-out rallies. Luis Flores led off with a single up the middle and moved into scoring position following Mark McGonigle's sacrifice bunt. After a flyout, Matt Weston reached on a Lamar infield error and Dustin Kingsbury walked to load the bases. Brad Lincoln then laced a two-run single into right field to gave the Cougars a 2-1 lead.
One inning later, Josh Stirneman doubled the Cougar lead after blasting a 1-0 offering over the left-field wall to lead off.
In the fourth inning, Lamar strung together three straight hits to lead off and cut the Cougar lead in half on Henderson's RBI-single to left field.
Lamar regained the lead in the seventh inning. After Erik Kanaby slapped a double down the left-field line, Matt Lambeth blasted a 1-0 offering over the wall in left center to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead.
Once again, the Cougars rallied in the next half-inning with one run. Bryan Tully led off with a sharp single through the left side and moved into scoring position following Weston's sacrifice bunt. Dustin Kingsbury then laced the first pitch he saw into right center to plate Tully and knot the game at 4-4.