(Lamar, Colorado;) Lamar Community College's baseball team was in action again over the past weekend. The young Lopes were tested with a talented team from Clarendon, Texas in a four game series.
The first game of the series quickly began with a bang. In the bottom of the first, after a walk, Jack Stamper unloaded on a Clarendon fastball for a two-run homerun over the right-field fence. The top of the second began with a homerun from the Bulldogs. Sam Scarborough added his own solo homerun in the bottom half inning. Stamper also homered in the inning, another two-run shot, to extend the Lopes lead to 5-1. Two Stamper sacrifice flies gave the Lopes a bigger lead, giving Stamper six RBIs.
The Lopes would pitch a scoreless sixth and seventh to win the game by the score of 7-2. Darin Cook was the winning pitcher, winning his second game in as many starts on the season.
The second game of the first day was a nail biter. The Bulldog's led off the game with a homerun to put the Bulldogs on top early. The Lopes' bats, however, would not let the Bulldogs win the inning. Stamper would walk and then score when Owen Reynolds doubled.
Scarborough doubled to left center to begin the bottom frame of the second. Luis Ortiz doubled the next at-bat to give the Lopes the lead. Ortiz would later score on a Stamper single, and Draven Adame would score after a Kennedy Badgett walk. The Lopes would add more in the third. Scarborough scored after another double and a wild pitch. Scott Savage would then crush his second homerun of the early spring, giving the Lopes a 6-1 lead. The Bulldogs would not give up, though, as they pushed across five runs of their own to tie the game.
The momentum swing didn't last long, as the young Lopes fought back. Scarborough hit into a fielder's choice to score Reynolds. Ortiz doubled again off of the centerfield wall to score Badgett, giving the Lopes another lead. Clarendon's offense punched back, hitting a two-run homerun in the process of tying the game once again the following inning. In the bottom of the fifth, after a Savage single and stolen base, Reynolds grounded out to score Savage and give the Lopes a one-run cushion. Zach Sundine and Johnathan Ramirez were asked to pitch his way out of some trouble in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, and did just that. Christian Peery was brought in in the seventh and earned his second save of the year.
Day two began with more of the same for the hot bats of LCC. Stamper doubled in the bottom of the first. Reynolds then hit a groundball that was misplayed by the first baseman to score Stamper and extend the inning for the Lopes. Robert Santorelli doubled to score Reynolds and quickly give the Lopes a 2-0 lead. More insurance was added after Stamper scored in the second. LCC quickly added four more in the fourth, giving them a 7-0 lead. Christian Manmano, a freshman transfer from Central Arizona College, pitched five scoreless innings against a free-swinging Clarendon squad. The seven runs were all that was needed, with a lone run scored by the Bulldogs at the hands of a solo homerun in the seventh. Manmano earned his first win of the season after a stellar performance.
The element of surprise came into play in the final game of the series. The temperature dropped and the wind picked up speed, changing the game completely. Neither team could gain the upper-hand early on, both pushing across a run in the second inning. In the top of the sixth, the Bulldogs finally got their offense going. The first five Clarendon hitters all reached base and scored. After a leadoff walk and an error, the Bulldogs were threatening. The bullpen of the Lopes could not stop the Bulldog attack, after a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, giving way to a double down the leftfield line to clear the bases. A defensive interference was called on the next play, putting the runners at second and third. A single two batters later pushed across the other two runs, giving the Bulldogs the 6-1 lead. The Lopes could only scramble one run in the bottom of the seventh before the game would end.
The Lopes are currently 5-1 this season. The week is filled with five games total to be played at Merchants Park. LCC is scheduled to take on the Garden City Broncbusters at 2:00 pm this Wednesday. Saturday and Sunday are scheduled for two double-headers against Luna Community College. Saturday's contests are scheduled for 1:00 and 3:00, and Sunday's are at 12:00 and 2:00.