By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-Through the first three weeks of the college baseball season, Garden City has not had many stumbling blocks. But the one constant thorn in Head Coach Chris Finnegan's side has been Lamar, and the Lopes were back it again on Wednesday.
Kennedy Badgett and Scott Savage each knocked in two runs apiece, and Lamar plated six in the first two innings to pull away from Garden City 7-1 at Williams Stadium.
The loss was only the second in their last 13 games for the Broncbusters.
Lamar (11-1) made Tanner Johnson's life miserable from the start. The freshman's second pitch of the afternoon plunked Lopes' leadoff man Jack Stamper. Two batters later, Kennedy Badgett poked a 2-1 pitch into left for a single and a 1-0 Lamar lead. Johnson eventually got Savage to strike out swinging for the second out but his wild pitch moments later allowed Stamper to cross, giving the Lopes a 2-0 edge.
Lamar proceeded to end Johnson's day in the second.
Owen Reynolds sacrifice fly made it a three-run game. That's when the floodgates opened, all with two outs. Badgett's RBI double, followed by another wild pitch and a walk, chased Johnson after just 1 2/3 innings. But A.J. Stephens could not undo the damage, allowing a two-run single to Savage to make it 6-0.
Garden City managed just one hit over the next two innings until Jesse Gonzales led off the fifth with a double. With one out, Alex Eskridge was hit by a pitch putting runners at first and second. But Lamar pitcher Nick Rohacek got Aeneas Roberson and Conner Reynolds to fly out to end the inning. In all, the Broncbusters stranded eight runners on the day.
Finnegan's squad finally punched through in the bottom of the sixth, when Rafael Villa drew a one-out walk; then came around to score on a wild pitch by reliever Cole White. But the threat was halted when Gonzales struck out to end the frame.
Lamar added an insurance run in the eighth on Draven Adame's RBI single.
Johnson took the loss for Garden City, allowing six earned runs on four hits. He walked four. Ryan Hoff was credited with the win, tossing two innings of no-hit ball in relief. Rohacek started the game for the Lopes and did not allow a hit in two innings.
Next up: Garden City vs. Indian Hills-Saturday, Feb. 25-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.—NO Radio