By Mike Pilosof
Photo by Adam Shrimplin
Lamar, CO-Garden City has lived dangerously the last couple of games. And on Tuesday, it definitely came back to bite them.
After overcoming a five-run deficit to tie the game in the seventh, reliever Miguel Ramos gave up a walk-off single to Stetson Rios in the bottom of the 11th as Lamar edged the Broncbusters 8-7 at Merchants Park.
"We just have to get off to a better start," Head Coach Chris Finnegan said. "The first three innings, we weren't very good."
Garden City appeared headed in the right direction when Turner McDonald scored on a wild pitch to give Garden City a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. But with two on and nobody out, Garden City failed to score as Alec Eskenazi and Brock Johnson struck out, while Alexis Davila grounded out to end the inning.
In the home half, Lamar evened the score on a two-out, RBI single by Arian Jimenez. After Garden City took the lead one final time in the top of the second when Dyan Rodriguez came home on a wild pitch, the Lopes answered right back in the bottom of the frame. Pitcher Damian Acosta's error allowed one run to score before Skyler Nelson teed off on the freshman hurler, sending a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right for a two-run homer, giving Lamar a 4-2 advantage.
The Lopes added a run in the third when Emmanuel Nunez issued a bases-loaded walk, and two more in the fourth on back-to-back RBI singles by Jimenez and Rios to make it 7-2.
"We have to learn how to get off the bus better," Finnegan added.
After overcoming an eight-run deficit on Sunday vs. Dodge City, Garden City was more than game down five 48 hours later. In the sixth, Sean Klein singled home a run, and Corbin Truslow bounced into an RBI fielder's choice to pull the Broncbusters to within three. An inning later, Rodriguez chipped in a sac fly, Jake Barber ripped a run-scoring single, and surprise surprise, Dakota Finley scored on a balk to tie the game. As a side note-the Broncbusters beat Dodge City on a walk-off balk on Sunday.
"We got some timely hits after we fell behind," Finnegan said. "It's just a matter of not putting ourselves in that situation."
Garden City got the go-ahead runs on in the eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th innings but failed to score. Then, in the bottom of the final frame, Nelson drew a leadoff walk; advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and took third when Jimenez grounded out. With two outs, Rios took Ramos's 1-0 pitch and hit it right back up the middle for the game winner.
Luis Padilla was tagged with that fatal run and his first loss of the season for Garden City (16-9, 3-5), who saw their three-game winning streak snapped.
Colby Carlson got the win for Lamar, striking out six in five innings of relief. He surrendered two runs on four hits.