The Lamar Runnin’ Lopes capitalized on five Dodge City Conquistador errors Wednesday, beating the Conqs 9-4.
It was not the kind of effort head coach Phil Stephenson wanted to see from his team.
“I saw a lack of effort, I saw a lack of focus, five errors, couldn’t get on top of the baseball today with the wind blowing in. Some of that is physical but a lot of that’s mental as much as anything else,” Stephenson said. “I thought today we’d come out and be ready to do some things to get ready to go on the trip (Thursday), and I was greatly disappointed.”
The Runnin’ Lopes opened the scoring early, getting two runs in each of the first two innings, then one in the third before the Conqs could get on the board.
The Conqs scored three in the bottom of the third to cut what had been a 5-0 lead at one point to 5-3. After that, neither team scored for the next four innings.
In the eighth inning, Lamar sophomore Owen Reynolds hit a blooper just beyond first base into right field with a runner on first base. The ball dropped too far away for the right fielder to recover quickly, and the ensuing throw to second to stop Reynolds was errant, allowing the lead runner to score from third base and give the Runnin’ Lopes a 6-3 lead.
Two batters later, Conquistador freshman pitcher Mahlyk Davis walked the bases loaded with two outs. He got out of it though, striking out sophomore Brennan Ryan to end the threat.
The Conqs scored one in the bottom of the eighth inning, but in the top of the ninth, with bases loaded, the Conqs catcher overthrew the first baseman trying to pick off a runner. The error allowed two runs to score, giving Lamar an 8-4 lead.
Soon after, the batter hit a single down the third-base line that got away from the third baseman, allowing another to score which brought in what proved to be the final run of the game.
With four regular-season games left, the loss moved the team to 28-22.
They head to Concordia today to take on Cloud County in a doubleheader before returning home Saturday to play a home doubleheader against Cloud County.
However, they are 12-16 in conference play, and that part is more what stands out to Stephenson.
“We’re in sixth place with a one-game lead over being seventh or eighth,” Stephenson said. “If we're seventh or eighth we’ve got a real minimal chance of trying to get to the tournament in Wichita. I feel like if we could finish sixth, we have a much better chance on who we play. We match up with somebody much better.”
Tonight’s first game against Cloud County is scheduled for 1 p.m.