By Mike Pilosof
Lamar, CO-Their first trip to Colorado last week ended with Chris Finnegan's first 0-2 start during his 12 seasons in Garden City. His team responded emphatically with seven straight wins.
During his squad's second trip to the Centennial State, it was one inning that cost Garden City a shot at equaling their longest winning streak from last year.
Jack Stamper hit his third home run of the season, and Lamar used a five-run first to push past Garden City 6-3 at Merchants Park on Wednesday
Garden City (7-3) struck first in the opening frame when Conner Reynolds took Lopes starter Nick Rohacek deep for his third homer of the season and a 1-0 Garden City advantage. But Lamar (6-1) answered with a momentum-crushing bottom half that sent Broncbusters starter Kendrick Catron to the showers early.
Catron first issued a six-pitch walk to Josh Crites. Next up was Stamper, who smashed a 1-1 offering over the right-field fence for a 2-1 Lopes lead. Owen Reynolds followed with a single and Kennedy Badgett doubled to put runners at second and third with nobody out. Robert Santorelli's sacrifice fly scored Reynolds to make it 3-1 before Scott Savage ripped a triple that brought Badgett around. Sam Scarborough's hard single plated Savage, and Lamar had a 5-1 advantage. Carton finally got out of it by striking out Kavan Andrew on three pitches.
The Broncbusters had a golden chance to make it a game in the second when they loaded the bases with one out. But they managed only one run when Aeneas Roberson hit into a fielder's choice scoring Billy Clark. But on the play, Alex Eskridge was thrown out at second. Reliever Zack Sundine then got Reynolds to fly out to center field to retire the side.
Garden City inched closer in the third when Viella doubled and came around to score on Gonzales's RBI groundout. After Ty Lightley drew a six-pitch walk, Clark came to the plate representing the tying run. But Cole White, in for his first inning of work, got him to fly out to left.
The Broncbusters mustered just four hits over the final six innings, and Lamar added some insurance in the seventh when Stamper singled before coming around to score on Draven Adame's RBI hit that put the Lopes up 6-3.
Catron suffered his first loss of the season, lasting just an inning, allowing five earned runs on five hits. He was one of nine different pitchers used on the afternoon.
Rohacek left after just an inning, but picked up his first win of the season, allowing one run on two hits for the Lopes.
Next up: Garden City at New Mexico Military-Friday, Feb. 17-12 p.m. and 4 p.m. first pitch—No Radio