SFA Posts Second Straight Shutout Of Lamar
May 20, 2011
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - For the second straight day the Lumberjacks held the Lamar Cardinals off the scoreboard and inched closer to clinching the No. 2 seed in next week's Southland Conference Tournament with a 5-0 win on Friday at Jaycees Field.
Jared West struck out a career-high eight Lamar (28-25, 14-18 SLC) hitters in six shutout innings in the senior's final start at Jaycees Field, allowing just two hits and working around four walks to run his record to 7-3 on the year. Brad Oates struck out two in three scoreless frames to earn his first career save.
It was the first time since the 1991 season that SFA (34-20, 20-12 SLC) has recorded shutout victories in consecutive games, and the first time in recorded history it has happened in consecutive games against a Division I opponent. The `Jacks also picked up their 34th win of the season, tying a school record that had previously been achieved in both 2010 and 1984.
The Lumberjacks now need either a win in the series finale against the Cardinals, or a loss by Southeastern Louisiana in one of their final two games at Northwestern State to clinch the No. 2 overall seed in next week's Southland Conference Tournament.
Bryson Myles set the tone for an aggressive Lumberjack offense with a 2-for-3 day that included a walk, two runs scored and three stolen bases to run his national-leading total to 50 for the year. On the day the SFA offense stole five bags, all in the first two innings, including Myles' second steal of home plate of the year in the first inning for the game's first run.
Jackson Hood and Michael Haynes each added two hits apiece and the `Jacks got all of their runs in the first four innings, bunching together two in the first and three in the fourth off of the first four pitchers Lamar was able to throw at them. Zach Boulanger faced only two hitters in his first start of the year, but walked them both and took the loss for the Cardinals. Machon Trimm and Shane Hamaker allowed the next four runs for LU before John Gilligan eventually came on to shut down the `Jacks with four, two-hit innings of scoreless relief.
West did not allow a Cardinal hit until the fifth inning, by which time he had already been staked to a comfortable 5-0 lead. A walk to Myles to lead off the first inning was followed by a steal of second and a wild pitch to move him to third. Garrett Smith then walked for the first of two times on the day to chase Boulanger after a short outing, and on a 1-0 pitch Myles broke for home when left-handed reliever Machon Trimm threw over to first. Myles slid in safely under the tag to get the `Jacks on the board and three batters later Hood gave SFA a 2-0 lead with a sure single through the left side of the infield to plate another run.
SFA cashed in again in the fourth inning after loading the bases with just one out on consecutive singles from Haynes and Myles was followed by another walk by Smith. Reliever Shane Hamaker then plunked Darren Crabtree with a 2-1 pitch to force in a run and Jarid Scarafiotti followed that with a line-drive single to left field that scored both Myles and Smith to increase the advantage to 5-0.
The Cardinals finally got something going against West in the next half inning with Andy Mena and Jude Vidrine each singling to open the inning; however, West helped himself out by following that with back-to-back punch outs of Andrew Dewey and Aaron Buchanan, followed by a ground out from reigning SLC hitter of the week Ted Zentek to get out of the only real jam he had all afternoon.
Oates then came on to begin the seventh inning and needed no help to work his way through the final five frames, using 53 pitches and scattering five singles to the Cardinals who have yet to manage an extra-base hit through the first two games of the series.
The Lumberjacks will go for the sweep on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with Zack Taylor on the hill for the regular-season finale. SFA will honor its 10-member senior class before the game of Justin Braddock, Darren Crabtree, Landon Kozeny, Michael Haynes, Riley Huble, Tyler Herriage, Garrett Smith, Patrick Gratzke, Jared West and Jason West.