The Port Arthur News
Lamar University’s baseball team will enter the 2012 Baylor Classic Friday still seeking coach Jim Gilligan’s 1,200 th career victory while wearing a Cardinal uniform.
Going into Friday’s 2 p.m. first-round game against UC Irvine, Gilligan has 1,198 victories in his 34-plus seasons as the Cardinals’ head coach, the same number he had before the Cardinals went 0-4 in last weekend’s YMBL/Cardinal Classic. For his 35-plus seasons as a head coach, the 1969 (bachelor’s) and 1970 (master’s) Lamar graduate has 1,208 career victories, ranking him sixth among active NCAA Division 1 coaches.
The 2-4 Cardinals are winless since they claimed victories of 2-1 and 10-2 over Arkansas State in the season-opening Lamar Classic.
UC Irvine is off to a 4-3 start this season, while the host Bears are 7-2 and ranked 25th in the country this week by Baseball America. Baylor will meet UC Irvine at 6:05 p.m. in Friday’s other first-round game.
Saturday’s schedule has Lamar taking on Baylor at 2:05 p.m. in 5,000-seat Baylor Ballpark, while the Bears and Anteaters will meet in a rematch at 6:05 p.m.
On Sunday, Gilligan’s Cardinals will challenge UC Irvine at 11 a.m. before going into a rematch with Baylor at 3 p.m.
While Lamar and UC Irvine will be meeting for the first time Friday, the Cardinals and Baylor have crossed paths 70 times over the years. The Bears hold a sizable 42-27-1 lead in the series, but the Cardinals defeated them 7-3 in Waco last season when they were ranked 19th in the country.
UC Irvine is coming off a 4-3 Sunday loss to Washington to fall to 1-2 in the weekend series. The Anteaters fell 3-0 in the opener and won the middle game 8-7. Senior first baseman Jordan Fox is the Anteaters’ leading hitter, having collected 11 hits in seven games for a .458 average.
Junior designated hitter/first baseman Seth Dornak is Lamar’s leading hitter with a .400 average, while senior left fielder Jeff Abt is batting .374. Gilligan plans to start junior right-hander Eric Harrington on the mound on Friday and junior left-hander Jonathan Dziedzic on Saturday. Freshman righty Collin Chapman is slated to start Sunday’s first game, and the second-game starter is undecided.