Portland shuts down SFA in season opener

BEAUMONT, Texas -The Lumberjacks only managed three hits and committed five errors on Friday, dropping its season opener, 11-0 to Portland in the opening game of the Lamar Classic at Vincent-Beck Stadium.

The Pilots (1-0) got seven shutout innings from preseason all-America righty Kyle Kraus, striking out seven and walking just one to earn his first win of the season. Chase Greening took the loss for SFA (0-1), allowing eight runs - five earned - in just three innings of work in his first start as a Lumberjack.

Portland scored nine runs in the first three innings of the game, including a five in the breakout third inning, which was more than enough for Kraus. Shortstop Kris Kauppila finished 3-for-5 with three RBI, while Ben Grubb also had three hits and a pair of RBI, including a solo homer to lead off the fourth inning.

Chris Hernandezprovided two of SFA's three singles on the day as the `Jacks were not able to collect an extra-base hit.

The Pilots scratched the scoreboard first, getting a leadoff double from Kauppila and an RBI single to right from Grubb, then took advantage of three hits in the second inning with a two-run, two-out double from Kauppila to jump out 3-0.

One inning later the Pilots broke it open, using a two-base error off the bat of Turner Gill to lead off the inning and three batters later he scored on a single from Caleb Whalen. Jeff Melby followed with a two-run double and two batters later he scored from second on another two-out single by Kauppila. Another SFA error plated Kauppila, giving Portland a comfortable 9-0 lead after just three frames.

Grubb added another run when he greeted reliever Justin Choatewith a solo shot to left field to open the fourth inning before Choate settled down and proceeded to set down nine of his next 11 batters in three solid innings of relief.

Cameron Gann and Cory Ochseach came on to pitch an inning apiece out of the pen with only Gann surrendering a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh when two more Lumberjack errors came back to bite SFA on the scoreboard.

SFA will continue the Lamar Classic on Saturday with a 4:00 p.m. game against Arkansas State before a rematch with Portland at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.