McBean Stadium was rocking on Friday for Opening Night, with an attendance of 1,454. Anthony Perez (Cal State East Bay) set the tone early, with four scoreless innings, zero walks and five strikeouts, which put him in line for the win.
Perez was able to escape a jam in the 1st inning, thanks in part to a beautifully turned double play by SS JT Maloney (Sac City) and 2B Cade Sanchez (Texas A&M Corpus Christi).
The Potters bats came to life quickly in the second inning, starting with a double down the line from Brandon Springer (William Jessup). Landon Weiss (William Jessup), who got the call from first year manager Jon Peters to join the Potters three days prior to Opening Night, got the scoring started with an RBI single to center field, knocking in his William Jessup teammate. Cade Sanchez followed with a two-run single to extend the Potters lead to 4-0 after two innings.
The bullpen picked up right where Perez left off. Logan Bell (Bowling Green State) went two innings, notching three strikeouts, and allowing one unearned run, on an error by LF Zack Malone (Sacramento State), which plated the Knicks second run of the game.
Following the error, Bell found himself in a tight situation. With the help of 1,454 energetic Potter fans, he was able to record a crucial strikeout of Joey Taddie to end the inning.
Peyton Stumbo (UNR) closed it out for the Potters with two scoreless innings, striking out four. Stumbo earned the save as well, resulting in a final score of 5-2.
The Potters take game one of the three-game series with the Novato Knicks, and will take the field again tomorrow at 6:05 PM @ McBean Stadium for Strikeout Cancer Night with fireworks after the game.
On Sunday night, the 27-19 Lincoln Potters returned to McBean Park for a series-deciding game three with the 21-7 Walnut Creek Crawdads, who clinched a spot in the CCL Playoffs after their game one win.
The Potters bounced back on Saturday night, scoring 14 runs en route to their second win over the Crawdads this season. Looking to finalize the series win, the Potters looked to Toran O’Harran (Stanford University) to make his second start of the season. He previously struck out eight in four innings in a loss to the Crawdads on July 16.
The pitching got off to a hot start in the series finale. For the first three innings, neither team could raise much of a threat to score. That all changed in the fourth inning when Patrick Herrera (University of Kentucky) scored the game’s inaugural run on an error made by the Crawdads’ shortstop.
O’Harran left the Crawdads scoreless through the first four innings but ran into some trouble in the fifth. He allowed two hitters to reach base before the first of the two stole home. Arthur Steinkamp (University of New Mexico) relieved him with a man in scoring position and got out of the inning with the tie intact.
The Potters quickly answered the Crawdad’s score in the bottom of the inning when Justin Menesini (Menlo College) scored a run in his first game of the season. Menesini reached base twice in three plate appearances in his debut.
Adding onto their lead in the sixth inning, Tyler Gerety (University of Kansas) drove in Patrick Herrera for his second run of the game. In six games against the Crawdads this season, Herrera has scored eight times. That was also Herrera’s 20th run scored on the season, becoming the fifth Potter this year to accomplish the feat.
Steinkamp remained in the game through the eighth inning, only allowing two baserunners over 3⅓ scoreless innings. This was Steinkamp’s second straight relief appearance going at least three innings without allowing a run. He was credited as the winning pitcher in the first game and was in the position to win his second game when he was relieved by Vincent Cicolello (UC Riverside) in the ninth inning.
Cicolello recorded his second save of the season after Luke Odden (Georgia Southern University) threw out the final batter of the game at first base on a call that could’ve gone either way. Regardless of the call, the Potters had defeated the Crawdads by a final score of 3-1 in what became the lowest-scoring game of the entire season.
The win also notched a second straight series win against the top two teams in the CCL North after the Potters defeated the Healdsburg Prune Packers in two out of three games earlier in the week. Despite their recent wins against good competition, the Potters are still fighting for a spot in the CCL Playoffs with their current league record sitting just above .500 at 15-14.
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