The 2016 Runnin' Lopes baseball team ran into a very talented New Mexico Junior College team this weekend and came up short on all four games. LCC lost by the scores of 11-4, 13-3, 11-10, 5-1.
The NMJC offense was too much for the Lopes on Friday with 24 runs given up. Lamar's ace Alex DeBell lasted only two and two-third innings in game one while giving up seven earned runs. Game two starter Derek Rohleder also lasted two and two-third innings giving up six earned runs.
Saturday's double header was a much better played series. Game three on Saturday lasted ten innings. The Lopes relief pitching could not hold a one-run lead in the seventh, a two run lead in the ninth, or a 10-10 tie in the bottom of the tenth. Starter Joe Rosenstien lasted three innings, giving up 6 earned runs. Lalo Porras came on to finish the game and allowed a game-tying homerun with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore Ryan Laydon came on for one and two-third innings and failed to hold the Thunderbirds down after the Lopes went up 10-8 in the ninth. With the score of 10-10, freshman Darin Cook pitched out of the ninth and in the tenth, allowing a walk and double for the walk-off loss.
Game four starter sophomore Andrew Schwulst pitched well for five innings, allowing two earned runs. However, NMJC's Roberto Delgado was pitching well himself. With the score 2-1, the Lopes went to freshman Brent Crampton in the sixth. A couple defensive mistakes and a two-run homerun gave NMJC three more points in the sixth to make the final score 5-1.
"Saturday was obviously better than Friday, but we just plain and simply got beat by a better team," remarked Head Coach Scott Crampton. "I expected our pitching to be much better; I expected fewer mistakes on Friday on the bases and defensively. Saturday we were in both games and gave ourselves a chance to win, but just could not finish the job. We have to figure out how to execute when the situation calls for it."
Lopes are now 2-6 for the season. They will take the field again in a four-game series with Luna Community College on February 20-21 at home.