Friday morning at Babcock Park in Rocky Ford, the Lamar Savage baseball team had an easy time with the host Meloneers, jumping out to a huge lead early and earning an easy win, 18-4 in five innings.
Meloneer pitching struggled most of the way. Starter Cameron Frantz labored to throw strikes, issuing five walks and surrendering five hits in the first inning as the Savages took a 10-0 lead.
Lamar senior Davin Jacobs blasted a three-run home run to left-center in the second to add to the lead. Jacobs drove in six runs in the contest with the homer plus a pair of doubles. He also earned the win on the mound, tossing three scoreless innings and struck out three.
Savage junior Max Carere went 4-4 with four RBI and three runs scored and Lamar improved to 3-0.
Lamar 12, Holly 2 – (6 inn.)
Immediately after the win over Rocky Ford, the Savages took on the Holly Wildcats, the preseason No. 1 team in Class 1A.
Early on, the Wildcats looked the part of a highly ranked team, taking a 2-0 lead after a half inning of play. The Savages answered with three runs in the bottom of half of the frame, and stretched the lead inning by inning after that.
The Savages had 16 hits, and Carere was 5-5 with with 2 RBI, plus he pitched four solid innings, striking out five. Freshman Kevin Pearson tossed the final two innings and did not allow a run. Holly struggled offensively after the first inning as the Savages settled in to the game.
With the two wins on Friday, Lamar earned the right to play for the tournament championship on Saturday.
Lamar 12, Limon 1 – (6 inn.)
Saturday afternoon, the Savages headed back to Babcock Park to take on the Limon Badgers for the tournament championship.
In the early going, both teams made big plays defensively. The Badgers turned a double play in the first inning, and gunned down a runner at home plate in the second. Lamar senior Dalton Chandler singled to center to bring home Isaiah LaTour to give the Savages the first run of the game.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the second, the Badgers used an infield single, walk and a Lamar error to load the bases with nobody out. Badger coach Rocky Rockwell called for his next batter, Camden Smithburg to execute a suicide squeeze bunt as Cole Younger stormed down from third base. But Smithburg could not get the bunt down, and Savage senior catcher Andres Guevara tagged out Younger as he slid for home. Lamar senior pitcher Colton Eberhardt then struck out Smithburg and Braden Sandersfeld to end the inning, keeping the Savages up by a run.
The Badger defense crumbled in the third. While the Savages recorded five base hits, three errors doomed Limon. With the bases loaded and two outs, the Savages led 2-0 and Badger pitcher Hauk Hubbard got Sy Spitz to ground to short. But shortstop Cannan Bennett fumbled the ball through his legs and a run scored to make it 3-0. Junior Kameron Farmer singled in the infield to add a run. Guevara then tapped a grounder to back to Hubbard. It appeared to be an easy play to end the inning, but Hubbard botched the throw to first, and two more runs came in to score. Lamar led 6-0 and added another run on an infield single by senior Lucas Watson.
Although the Badgers got a run back in the third, all the momentum rested with the Savages for the remainder of the contest. They set a season-high in hits with 18, Carere and Farmer each had three. Four pitchers combined for ten strikeouts.
The Savages won the Rocky Ford/Fowler Tournament for the second straight season. They are 5-0 and will look forward to good competition this week at the La Junta Hampton Inn Classic. On Thursday (3/22), Lamar will play Gunnison at 4:00 pm. They will also play one game on Friday and Saturday at the event.