SUGAR LAND -- Lamar starting pitcher Jonathan Dziedzic threw 8 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball to eliminate Sam Houston, 3-1, from the Southland Conference Tournament at Constellation Field. Dziedzic allowed just one unearned run after two walks and an error in the sixth.
Lamar did all the scoring they would need in the second inning. Three straight one-out singles through the left side of the infield loaded the bases. Caleb Smith got the second out of the inning at the plate but was unable to get out of the frame unscathed. Lamar shortstop Sam Bumpers singled to right field to plate the first two runs of the game.
The Cardinals scored another run in the third after Smith hit a batter to lead off the frame. An error by shortstop Carter Burgess put runners on the corners and second baseman V.J. Bunner hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 3-0.
“I think the bottom line is that Dziedzic pitched one great game today,” said Bearkat coach David Pierce. “He was very good with three pitches and we could never really get the barrel to the ball consistently. He was that good.”
The Bearkats hadn’t had a baserunner through five innings before designated hitter Wyatt Powell and first baseman Jessie Plumlee walked in the sixth. Center fielder Colt Atwood reached on an error by Bunner at second that allowed Powell to break up the shutout.
SHSU’s only other baserunner came in the ninth when catcher Anthony Azar singled just past the diving first baseman for the only Kat hit.
Starter Caleb Smith gave up seven hits and three runs (one unearned) in 4 2/3 innings of work. Jason Simms pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 inning of relief. Alan Scott tossed three perfect innings to finish the game.
The Bearkats will now have to wait until Monday’s NCAA Baseball selection show to know their postseason fate. Last season the Kats received an at-large bid to the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
“I think they put a lot of weight on the conference championship now. Our resume is very good,” Pierce said. “I think we should be in the top 45 or top 50 depending on what happens throughout the country. I think we have a great shot at it.”
Monday’s selection show will air at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.