The Garden City Broncbusters proved to be patient at the plate on Tuesday, rallying from a pair of one-run deficits to beat Lamar, Colo., 6-2, in the home opener at Williams Stadium.
With 1 out and down 2-1 in the fifth, the Busters walked on three straight at bats to load the bases, before Colin Stone hit a sacrifice fly to center to tie it and Brenden Anderson’s groundball was mishandled, allowing the go-ahead run to score for the Busters.
It was the type of good fortune — and opportunistic at bats — the Busters have had through the first two weeks of the season as they improved to 8-1 on Tuesday, head coach Chris Finnegan said.
“I think our first weekend (winning three of four games vs. Northeastern, Colo.) our approach at the plate was very good, but I didn’t think we pitched it well enough to win,” Finnegan said. “But our bats were good enough to keep us in it.”
In the Busters’ four-game sweep of Western Nebraska on Saturday and Sunday, the bats battled what Finnegan called four “very good” arms, plus one or two more solid relievers in the bullpen.
“We took advantage of a couple of mistakes and got four wins out of that,” Finnegan said.
Then Tuesday, the offense managed just three hits, but walked 11 times.
“I thought today was one of those days, where I thought we swung it well — we barreled it up right at people,” he said. “We had to be patient and wait until a mistake was made.”
And they got another win out of it.
“They stayed within what they had to do, they didn’t expand the zone and they took what they were giving,” Finnegan said.
The offense added a run on another Stone sacrifice fly in the seventh, and then got an RBI single from Jake Barber in the eighth, before another Lamar error gave the Busters their final run.
Jordan Yates got the start, going the maximum three innings that Finnegan was going to allow his freshman left-hander who is still getting used to longer outings.
Yates was also coming off short rest having pitched Saturday’s nightcap. He gave up one run on three hits while striking out three. Emanuel Nunez and Steve Ramos combined to toss the next two innings, giving up one run on three hits. Ryan Nason and Luis Padilla then tossed a pair of scoreless innings each.
“So far, so good,” Finnegan said of his young bullpen. “I can’t complain. We’re going to go through our woes, but we’re still figuring some things out and that’s expected.”
The Busters now hit the road for four games in Albuquerque, N.M., where they will play New Mexico Military Institute and Lamar on Feb. 16, and then New Mexico Junior College and Trinidad State on Sunday.