Lamar To Debut New Synthetic Turf Against Strong Cardinal Classic Field This Weekend

Ashly Elam
Story Created: Feb 27, 2008 at 6:06 PM CST
Story Updated: Feb 27, 2008 at 6:10 PM CST

KBMT News &endash; The Lamar coaching staff likes it. The Cardinal players are pleased with how it feels and plays. Now its time to see how the fans and visiting teams react to the new Olympia synthetic turf that was installed at Vincent-Beck Stadium during the winter break.

The first test will come this week when the Cardinals play host to Arkansas State, Kansas State and Michigan State in the Cardinal Classic presented by YMBL. Action get underway with Arkansas State and K-Stats at 1 p.m., followed by Lamar and Michigan State at 5 p.m. in the home opener for the Redbirds.

Lamar went 1-2 last week with a win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the season lid-lifter before falling to Sam Houston State and Illinois.

The Cardinals enter the season with a lot of bodies but not much experience after losing six players to the MLB Draft and their top five hitters in their lineup. They do have 22 newcomers on this year's roster with six true freshmen and 16 transfers.

One of those transfers provided an offensive spark to the lineup last week. Tyler Link hit .444 with a double, a home run and drove in three in two games. Lamar also got nice production from returnees David Moore and Jeff Vickers. Moore banged out a team-best five hits for a .455 weekend and Vickers reached base seven times with three singles, a double and was hit by pitch three times - half of his total from a year ago.

On the mound, Lamar got strong outings from a trio of veterans but was only able to use closer Tim Erickson once as he struck out one in a perfect ninth inning in the win over the Islanders. Brian Sisk and Brian Needham each went five innings in their respective starts. Sisk, who got the win on Friday, struck out six of the 20 men he faced and didn't allow a run, while Needham allowed just one run on six hits in a 1-0 loss on Sunday.

Sisk will get the call in Thursday's home opener. He is 1-0 on the season and 12-3 in 17 career starts for the Cardinals.

Michigan State (2-1) will send Brian Monterey (0-0, 2.84 ERA) to the mound against Lamar. The Spartans return 21 letterwinners and 10 pitchers from last season's 25-26 squad.

Arkansas State (3-1) has won three of its first four games with its lone loss to Ohio State. The Indians have six starters and 11 pitchers back from a 23-32 season in 2007.

Kansas State (0-2) lost a pair of road games last week to Santa Clara and California. The Wildcats welcome back seven starters and 11 hurlers from a team that went 34-24. K-State returns to Beaumont for the second-consecutive year after going 2-1 with an 8-7 win over the Cardinals in the Lamar Classic.

Tickets prices for all Lamar games are $7 for reserved seats, $4 for general admission and $3 for youths up to 18-years-old and those 55-years and older. Admission is free to the four games not involving Lamar.

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