Southeastern Louisiana picked up its 10th consecutive Southland Conference win Saturday, defeating Lamar 5-2 at Almuni Field.
The first-place Lions (35-13, 19-4) moved three games up on second-place Northwestern State. Lamar (19-27, 8-15) fell three games behind Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for the eighth and final spot in the upcoming conference tournament.
Southeastern struck for four runs early, getting to Cardinals starting pitcher Collin Chapman (0-1) in the second inning.
With one out, Chapman walked Kennon Menard and Julian Service back-to-back before Chris Eades popped a high fly ball down the right-field line. Lamar right fielder C.J. Moore lost the ball in the sun and it dropped for a single, loading the bases.
Ryan Byers followed with a single through the right side, driving in Menard with the first run of the game. Jacob Seward grounded back to the mound, but Chapman tossed to first base for the out and allowed Service to score.
Carson Crites drove in both Eades and Byers, knocking his second triple of the season into the gap in right-center.
Jake Johnson (9-1) was in command early for the Lions on the mound, scattering two hits through the first six innings. The junior right-hander finished one-out shy of his second complete game of the season.
The Cardinals touched Johnson for a run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh, snapping a 16.2 inning scoreless streak by Southeastern pitching to open the series.
In the eighth, the Lions got the run back. Brett Hoffman singled through the right side off left-handed reliever Brandon Kirkham. Menard followed and greeted new reliever Kyle Leggett with a single to right-center, but he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double when Moore bobbled the ball in the outfield. Service ripped a single through the left side of a drawn-in infield to plate Hoffman.
Lamar picked up its second and final run of the game in the ninth with three singles.
Freshman Mac Sceroler, a right-hander from Denham Springs, Louisiana, fanned Kevin Santana for the game’s final out and earned his sixth save of the season.
Johnson, who fanned six and did not walk a batter, earned the win. Chapman, the first of six Lamar pitchers, suffered the loss.
Crites (2-for-4) and Hoffman (2-for-4) led the Lions at the plate.
Seward (0-for-4), who drew an intentional walk in his final plate appearance, had his school-record 24-game hitting streak snapped, but kept his 36-game reached-base streak intact.
Southpaw Kyle Cedotal (6-2, 1.82), a junior from Denham Springs, draws the starting nod for Southeastern in Sunday’s 1 p.m. series finale against Cardinal right-hander Eric Foshee (2-5, 6.68).