BEAUMONT, Texas - Lamar's Eric Harrington tossed a complete game allowing one run on five hits as the Cardinals defeated Columbia 5-1 in the Lions' season opener Friday evening.
Lamar (8-2) struck first in the bottom of the second with a leadoff single by Brad Picha through the left side. Seth Dornak then drew a walk, and Aaron Olivas kept it going with a sacrifice bunt, putting them both in scoring position. The first run of the night came as Brandon Provost grounded out to second for an RBI, scoring Picha. Garret Autrey then hit an infield single to put the Cardinals ahead, 2-0.
With two outs in the fifth, the Lions rallied to cut the Cardinal's lead in half. Jordan Serena cranked a single to get things going, and Nick Crucet was hit by a pitch to get two on base. Eric Williams then singled to right field, driving in Serena for the run and advancing Crucet to third. Columbia flied out for the third out as the rally was cut short.
Lamar evened the inning with a run in the bottom half as Sam Bumpers singled with a runner on second.
In the seventh, Serena ripped a two-strike single up the middle and advanced into scoring position with his first stolen base of the season, but Harrington was able to escape the jam and the Lions were held scoreless.
Lamar then put the game away by tacking on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a two-run homer by V.J. Bunner.
David Speer (0-1) was charged with the loss after pitching a solid seven innings for the Lions, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out one.
Columbia will look for its first win of the season tomorrow as the Lions continue their four-game series at Lamar with a double-header slated to begin at 2 p.m.
Neither team made an error during the game ... First-year Logan Boyher made his collegiate debut for Columbia ... the Lions and Cardinals previously met during the 2009 season.