The Port Arthur News
Steven Halcomb delivered a clutch RBI single in the 12th inning Saturday night to lift undefeated Gonzaga to a 6-5 victory over Lamar University on Day 2 of the 2012 YMBL Classic.
Halcomb’s winning hit into right field which put the Bulldogs at 6-0 on the season, plated Billy Moon, who had driven a one-out double to left field off losing pitcher Vernnon Maxwell, a freshman from Vidor.
The Cardinals also dropped a 7-2 decision to the University of Illinois, and they will take a 2-3 record into today’s 11 a.m. tournament finale against the Fighting Illini, who are 2-4.
“We had an excellent opportunity to beat a very good Gonzaga club, but we let it slip away from us,” said Cardinal coach Jim Gilligan. “I like the way Jonathan Dziedzic pitched, and I like the way some of the others pitched, but I didn’t like the way we played defense.
“We were sloppy with our defense. We kicked a ball in right field; we threw to the wrong base; we throw ball away, and we didn’t have guys in the proper cutoff positions.”
The Cardinals committed a season-high six errors, including three in the eighth inning they allowed the Bulldogs to score three runs to wipe out a 4-2 Lamar lead.
Aaron Olivas’ RBI groundout in the eighth inning enabled the Cardinals to tie the score at 5-5 and send the game into extra innings. The Cardinals also had three wild pitches, and they left 14 runners on base.
The Fighting Illini jumped on Shane Hamaker for four hits and four runs in the first inning of Saturday’s Game 2, and the Cardinals never could overcome their deficit.
Junior center fielder Garret Autrey led off the Cardinals’ second inning with his second home run of the season, cutting their deficit to 4-2, but the Fighting Illini added one run in the fifth, two in the sixth and their final two in the ninth.
The Cardinals managed only three more hits. Left-hander Luke Joyce was the winning pitcher in relief. He worked 2 2/3 hitless, scoreless innings in evening his record at 1-1, while the Fighting Illini improved to 2-4.
Senior right-hander Andy Hunter hurled a complete-game to help lead Gonzaga to a 7-3 victory over Illinois in the first game.