MILLINGTON, Tennessee — Lamar University led St. Louis 7-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, but the Billikins rallied for five runs behind two home runs — including a game-winning drive — to defeat the Cardinals, 8-7, on Friday afternoon. USA Baseball Stadium Complex.
The loss ended Lamar’s short three-game hitting streak.
The Cardinals collected their seven runs on nine hits and an error, but left seven runners on base. St. Louis scored eight of its runs on seven hits on two errors. The Billikens lost six runners on the day.
Jacob Ellis made his start for the Big Red and went 5.0 innings allowing two runs on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Foster Kreuzer pitched two perfect innings in the sixth, but the Billikins did most of their damage in the final two innings.
Seven different Cardinals hit Friday, including multi-hit efforts by Ben McNaughton (2-for-3, RBI, double) and Kirkland Banks (2-for-3, run). Junior Ethan Ruiz only had one hit on the day, but it was a home run.
Henry Littman took the mound for St. Louis and went 5.1 for three runs on four hits.
He was also hurt with three walks in the game. Reid Hendrickson pitched a scoreless ninth to get the win.
Trailing 2-1 going into the sixth inning, the Cardinals jumped ahead after scoring two runs on four hits in the sixth.
LU had runners on second and third when Josh Blankenship drove in a run. Junior Canin Dodge doubled to right field to score the next run.
The sixth began a stretch of three straight innings when LU crossed the plate, the Cardinals got a run in the seventh off a solo home run from Rice and scored three runs on two hits before taking advantage of two Billiken errors in the eighth. St. Louis responded with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth that set the stage for the ninth inning.
After loading the bases to start the game, the Cardinals got one out before Ethan Sitman actually tied the game.
Tyler Fogarty then hit a home run to right field to end the game.
The Cardinals return to action Saturday for the second straight game. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the USA Baseball Stadium Complex.
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