Lamar's Dziedzic gives up first hit with two outs in ninth, knocks out SHSU
SUGAR LAND, Texas -- It was a performance for the ages on Friday afternoon as Jonathan Dziedzic recorded 26 outs before allowing his first hit of the game as Lamar sent regular-season conference champion Sam Houston State home from the Southland Tournament in 3-1 fashion at Constellation Field.
“How do you get better than that?” asked Lamar head coach Jim Gilligan. “The guy threw a one-hitter, and he did it when we needed it the most. This situation would intimidate a lot of guys, and he showed that he’s a veteran and that he’s got a lot of heart. We’re still getting over this one, but now we have to go back and regroup to get ready for tonight. It’s one-and-done, and we can’t live by this one.”
Lamar (38-19) will return to action later on Friday for another showdown with Southeastern Louisiana. The Cardinals and Lions played earlier this week, with SLU coming out with the 5-3 victory. In order to advance to the Southland Championship game, LU will need to beat the Lions twice.
Dziedzic, who was perfect through five innings, became the first pitcher in conference tournament history to register a one-hitter. Previously, former Lamar standout Clay Hensley held the record for least hits allowed, giving up two hits Texas-Arlington in 2002.
“I just wanted to come out and go as far as I could,” revealed Dziedzic. “I know we need to save as much pitching as possible, and Coach Gilligan needed me to go long. I didn’t really know that I had a no-hitter going after that play at first in the sixth, so I put it out of my mind. This was the best I’ve felt with my location all year, and I felt good out there.”
The southpaw out of Humble finished the day with five strikeouts and two walks, giving up one unearned run and improving to 7-4 on the year.
The Cards got on the board in the second. Singles by Garret Autrey, V.J. Bunner and Jude Vidrine set the stage for Sam Bumpers, who went hitless a day ago. This time, however, the junior out of Illinois came up big, sending a two-out two-run single into right field.
Bumpers, Autrey and Vidrine each had two-hit showings, and overall, the team had nine.
LU added another in the ensuing frame on a Bunner sacrifice fly that plated Brad Picha.
Dziedzic continued to roll through the SHSU line-up, suffering only a minor hiccup in the sixth. Wyatt Powell and Jessie Plumlee earned walks to break up the perfect game, and a throwing error by Bunner allowed the run to cross.
The Bearkats (37-20) attempted to rally in the ninth. Picha was unable to stretch out to prevent the Anthony Azar single, but Kevin Miller grounded out moments later to end the frame and send the Cards into the next round.