Lamar Community College Athletic Director Scott Crampton is pleased to announce that after a single season as the Head Coach for the Runnin’ Lopes, Ben Buck has accepted a minor league pitching coach position with the New York Yankees. Buck is the second coach in just two years to move from Lamar CC baseball to professional baseball. Last year Coach Buck’s first hire, Assistant Coach Eric Dorton, accepted a hitting coach position with the Texas Rangers. “This is a great loss for LCC, but I am excited for Coach Buck and his family. In his short tenure, he has had a positive impact on the baseball program and has set a foundation for future success. We thank him and wish him all the best in future endeavors,” commented Crampton
“I’m very excited to be joining the New York Yankees organization. During the hiring process, I learned of their vision for player development and am honored that they are asking me to join them in their mission. The hires they have made are truly remarkable. I consider them all to be brilliant minds that I have looked up to in the baseball development community. It is a dream come true,” Buck said.
In the 2019 season, the Runnin’ Lopes compiled a 32-27 regular-season record and accomplished something that hadn’t been done in seven years by capturing a Region 9 Baseball Championship. This allowed the Lopes to host the Western District tournament, something that hadn’t been done since 2010.
The pitching staff under Coach Buck’s direction led the Region in many regular season statistics: 6.81 Hits per Game (1st); 5.59 Runs per Game (1st); 8.8 K’s per Game (1st); and 10.90 K’s per 9 (1st). In conference play, the Lopes statistics were equally impressive: 209 Hits Allowed (1st); 149 Runs Allowed (1st); 103 ER’s Allowed (1st); 326 Strikeouts (1st); and 11.34 K/9 (1st) with a 3.58 ERA (1st).
In addition to success on the field, the most significant accomplishment may have come off the field with creating potentially the first junior college program to start a Player Development Center. In the fall of 2019, the Player Development Center took form and has grown into a true development house. Players take a gap year for eligibility and train using the latest training methods to accelerate their development before competing on a traditional college baseball field.
Buck stated, “The Player Development Center has taken off. Coach Roberto Carrasco and Coach JP Fasone have done an amazing job of finding the right types of players and training them in such a way to speed up their growth. This has and will continue to be a game-changer for LCC Baseball.”
“Runnin’ Lopes Baseball will always hold a special place in my heart. The tradition and success are second to none, and I consider myself very blessed to work for former Head Coach - now Athletic Director - Scott Crampton,” Buck said.
Roberto Carrasco will assume the lead as Interim Head Coach for the spring season.