The heart of the Garden City Broncbusters’ lineup missed two big, late-inning scoring chances that could have sparked rallies to erase an early deficit, but instead fell short in a 9-7 loss to Lamar, Colo.
In the bottom of the seventh at Williams Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, the Busters found themselves trailing 6-4, but with the top of their lineup coming to the plate.
First, No. 9 hitter Ty Lightley flew out, leadoff hitter Clint Allen walked, and stole second, and then Griffin Brunson walked from the No. 2 hole. Robbie Young, who began the season red-hot, popped out to the catcher — part of his 0 for 5 day. Cleanup hitter Corbin Truslow then walked to load the bases, and a base hit would tie it, but Chris Lara chased a 2-2 fastball at the letters, striking out to end the inning and the threat.
In the top of the eighth, the Runnin’ Lopes added some insurance runs off the Buster bullpen, including a pinch-hit home run by Aaron Faragaliah. Then, three walks and an error contributed to two more runs scoring, making it 9-4.
The bottom of the Busters’ lineup was able to spark a rally in the bottom of the eighth, when Darian Burns and Ty Barclay had consecutive singles, and then Gino Bourget and Ty Lightley hit back-to-back doubles. Just like that, the Busters were within two runs, with a runner on second and no outs, with the top of the lineup due up once again.
Allen walked again — part of his 2 for 3 day with the two walks — and Brunson was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with no outs still. This time, Young flew out to left field, Truslow — Sunday’s two-time hero — struck out and Lara flew out to center field, ending the inning, and all hopes the Busters had of completing a comeback.
Spot starter Brandt Sobczak took the loss, lasting just two innings and giving up two runs. Danny Weagle and Aaron Peach each tossed an inning in relief, but gave up two runs. Paxton Robinson seemed to be the only Buster pitcher on to of his game, tossing three scoreless innings.
Burns, Barclay and Lightey each had two hits for the Busters, who racked up nine, while Lamar had 12.
The Busters hit the road for their first four-game series away from Williams Stadium this weekend, taking on New Mexico Military Institute. First pitch of the series opener is set for 1 p.m. Friday.