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Baseball sets sights on trophy-winning season

LU infielder Ethan Ruiz throws a ball during practice, Feb. 1, at the Vincent-Beck stadium.
LU infielder Ethan Ruiz throws a ball during practice, Feb. 1, at the Vincent-Beck stadium.

First pitch for the Lamar baseball team will be Feb. 16, in the Mobile Baseball Tournament in Mobile, Alabama. The Cards will go up against Southern Indiana at noon. The Cardinals won't play a home game until March 1, when they will face off against the University of Texas at Arlington at 6 p.m. at Vincent-Beck Stadium.

“We're playing some good opponents, so I think (preseason will) be something that gets us ready,” head coach Will Davis said. “Hopefully, we can get off to a good start and give the home fans something to be excited about when we return in March.”

Last season Lamar started the season with a 9-0 run beating Power Five teams such as Kansas State and No. 5-ranked Texas A&M. The season saw the Cardinals go 13-11 in conference and 32-23 overall. They won 19 times at home, only losing eight, and went 10-13 in away games. LU made the Southland Conference tournament, but lost both games. LU allowed eight runs and only scored one in both games.

During the offseason, Lamar lost Ryan Snell, the Southland Conference Player of the Year, to the MLB Draft where he was selected in the seventh round, with the 195th overall pick. Snell was also SLC All-Defensive team, and a finalist for the Buster Posey Award.

This season Lamar added 19 players, 10 of those being NCAA Division 1 transfers and eight being JUCO transfers. Players hailing from schools such as Rice, University of Houston and Arizona State will be wearing the white and red this season. LU also added two JUCO All-Americans and three all region selections.

“The four-year transfers have the perspective of Division 1 baseball, they've already played it, they've already been down that road so it's nothing really new to them,” Davis said. “Some of the JUCO guys are talented, they’ve just got to get acclimated to Division 1 baseball and, hopefully, that doesn't take too long.

“We have a lot of guys back, and so if we were going to add people in recruiting, we wanted to make sure they were people that could make us better. We were fortunate enough to do that in several areas. We're pretty excited about some of the transfers we have, but we're pretty excited about a lot of the guys we got coming back. We should have several preseason all-conference players, so it's a nice little blend of the two.”

The Cardinal baseball team aspires to make the Southland Conference tournament once again this season, but this time they have their eyes set on a trophy.

“Our main goal is to win a championship, whether it be the regular season or the tournament, or both,” Davis said. “Obviously, if we had the choice we'd like to win both, but I don't think we're going to be too happy unless we do that.”

Category: Sports