Busters run down by Runnin' Lopes
Busters run down by Runnin' Lopes
By ADAM HOLT
Sometimes, you just get your butt kicked.
The Garden City Community College baseball team dropped an 11-1 non-conference game to Lamar (Colo.) on Wednesday at Williams Stadium.
"We got beat. Got crushed," GCCC head coach Chris Finnegan said. "They're a good team. They did a lot of really, really good things today. "
Corny as it sounds, the Runnin' Lopes lived up to their name, stealing four bases in a two-run first inning, and taking extra bases with their speed all throughout the game.
"Their speed killed us, which I thought we've handled the speed pretty well the last week, week and a half," Finnegan said. "Today, it just got us. You've got to give them credit; when we located our fastballs, they drove the ball into the gap. Can't do anything about it."
Sam Wilson hit a one-out single in the first, stole seond, and after Josh Day walked, stole third. The two executed a double steal for Lamar's first run, and Brett Bernal's RBI single made it 2-0, Lamar.
The Lopes tacked on two more in the third, then put together a four-run fifth to take an 8-0 lead.
As aggressive as the Lopes were, the Broncbusters had a much more passive approach, and wound up getting outhit 19-5 in the game. Garden City saw a stretch of 10 straight batters retired in the middle of the game, and were hitless in the fifth through seventh innings.
Garden City had just one hit with a man on base, and their lone run came in the eighth, when Tyler Nesby reached on an error and later scored on another.
"We were very passive today," Finnegan said. "For some reason, our approach went very passive today. It wasn't anything that we work on — it was one of those days, it really was. We're gonna have those days, but we can't sit there and wait for nine innings to get things going."
Nine of the 12 Lopes to get at-bats had hits, and Lamar saw seven hitters pick up multi-hit games, led by Thomaslee Mares' 4-for-5 performance, which included a double and a triple, as well as a run and an RBI.
GCCC starter Chris Bonk went 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs, all earned, on 10 hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Garrett Bryant, Josh Heifner, Oscar Gamboa and Josh Thomas combined to pitch the other 4 1/3 innings, holding Lamar to three runs on nine hits, with Thomas allowing six of the hits and two of the runs in the final two frames.
Nick Halliday started for Lamar, going three innings and allowing three hits with five strikeouts.
The Busters didn't help themselves out, committing three errors.
"We had a handful of mistakes, too. I think we had three, four, five errors, whatever it was," Finnegan said. "Some of that was from the speed, and some of that was not expecting the baseball and being ready for it. For us to be good, we have to do that every day. We have to defend; we have to defend every day."
Among the bright spots for the Busters was Gamboa striking out the side in the seventh after being held out with an injury.
"He looked great," Finnegan said. "That just makes the depth in our bullpen that much better."
Kaleb Zimmer returned from a knee injury and went 1-for-4, and Finnegan said Alex Buechler, who's missed time due to back issues and flu-like symptoms, should be ready to go this weekend.
Finnegan said he was happier overall about the week due to Tuesday's 8-5 road win at Otero (Colo.). With a key conference series on the road at Pratt (double-headers at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday) coming up this weekend, the Busters' performance away from home will be a point of focus.
"Won on the road, and we lost at home to a good club," Finnegan said. "For us to win anything, we've got to learn how to win on the road. To me, that's more important."
Lamar 202 041 002 -- 11 19 2
Garden City 000 000 010 -- 1 5 3
Lamar — Halliday, Pape (4), Werbach (6), Tinius (7), Forsyth (8), Moore (9) and Merten, Schoen (6). Garden City — Bonk, Bryant (5), Heifner (6), Gamboa (7), Thomas (8) and Lobato. WP — Halliday. LP — Bonk.