CORPUS CHRISTI – Jude Vidrine went 3-for-5 with four runs scored to lead Lamar to a 10-7 victory over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team on Sunday at Chapman Field. The Cardinals (29-22, 14-13 Southland) remained in a three-way tie for seventh place with the win, while the Islanders (30-22, 19-8) are now tied with Sam Houston State for the conference lead.
A&M-Corpus Christi and the Bearkats will meet in the final series of the regular season next weekend in Huntsville, with the winner claiming at least a share of the conference crown. The two teams have a one-game lead on Northwestern State and Nicholls, each of which is 18-9.
The top of the Cardinals order did the bulk of the damage, as the top four hitters went 9-for-18 in the game, scoring seven runs and driving in five. Tyler Sullivan also had a strong day, going 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI. Lance Warren picked up the win out of the pen, as the Cardinals relievers combined to scatter three hits in 4 2/3 innings of work.
Lamar struck in the first on the bat of Sam Bumpers, as Vidrine drew a leadoff walk and Bumpers went the other way with a 2-2 pitch, sending it over the wall in right for his fifth homer of the season. But Keith bounced back to get the next two batters and end the frame.
The Islanders got a run back in the bottom of the second. Salas led off with a double off the right-field wall and Russell Vaughan reached on a walk to follow. Kyle Danford hit into a double play to send Salas to third with two away, but an error scored Salas to cut it to a 2-1 deficit.
Lamar came right back and put a crooked number on the board in the top of the third. After Keith got the leadoff hitter, each of the next three batters tallied singles to load the bags. Keith gave way to Kevin Landgrebe, and the righty got a popout for the second out of the frame. But Jacoby Middleton was hit by a pitch to score the first run, and Tyler Sullivan followed by lining a single into left field to plate two runs and make it 5-1. A passed ball made it a 6-1 Cardinals lead.
The Islanders got a run back in the bottom of the third, as Lee led off with a triple and Tyler Ware brought him home on an RBI groundout to make it 6-2. The teams traded runs in the fourth, with Lamar getting an RBI single from Reed Seeley and the Islanders adding a run on a sac fly from Josh Garza.
A&M-Corpus Christi cut it to three runs in the bottom of the fifth, as Cody Stephens doubled and Salas and Vaughan each walked to load the bases with one out. Danford ripped a pitch to left, but it hung up long enough to result in a sac fly that made it 7-4.
The Cardinals were able to deliver a pair of runs in the sixth to push the lead back to five. Back-to-back singles with one out were followed by a wild pitch and Vidrine delivered a run on an RBI single. Brandon Provost delivered an RBI infield single later in the frame to push the edge to 9-4.
The Islanders made it interesting in the bottom of the eighth, as Jordan Lee delivered a two-run single that plated Danford and pinch-runner Brandon Guilford to cut the lead to 9-6. Brandon Tierney followed with a single to center to bring the tying run to the plate, but Derek Wade was able to get the next two batters to emerge without any further damage. The Cardinals added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, and the Islanders were able to get one run back in the bottom, but that was all they could muster in the 10-7 defeat.
The Islanders will wrap up the regular season with next weekend's three-game set at SHSU, beginning Thursday, May 15, in Huntsville. Live stats and video will be available at GoBearkats.com, with a live audio broadcast on GoIslanders.com. Updates will be provided on Twitter (@IslandersBSB).