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.
The Lincoln Potters suffered their first loss Wednesday falling to the Sacramento Yankees, 10-7.
The Potters showcased offensive firepower by turning a two-run deficit into four-run lead, but another lead change led to the end of the team’s seven-game winning streak.
Manager Ryan Stevens is still pleased with the best start in team history. “It feels good,” Stevens said. “I’d like to get this one and keep going. But it’s good for us to try to find a way to battle back and lose one early so we know what it’s like.”
Jeffrey David (University of New Mexico) placed a base hit single into left field in his first at-bat of the season before stealing second base. Dan Pruitt (Oklahoma Baptist University) scored David by hitting a groundball single up the middle, giving the Potters a 1-0 lead.
Pruitt went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.
Yankee Christian Smith’s RBI single tied the game in the second inning. And JD Madrigal’s RBI-double off the wall gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the third inning.
Sound defense kept Lincoln in the game until its offense could deliver. After Smith’s second-inning RBI, Potter catcher Troy Shields (Oklahoma Baptist University) threw Smith out while attempting to steal second base. After an errant fifth-inning throw bounced into the Potter outfield, David scooped the ball and threw out the Yankee baserunner attempting to steal third base.
The Potters recaptured momentum in the fifth inning when Brandon Motheral (University of Pacific) continued his power hitting. After David singled, Motheral slammed a homerun over the left field wall to tie the game. Not satisfied with a tie, Justin Olson (University of New Mexico) followed by crushing a pitch far over the right field wall to reclaim the lead. Drew Stahl kept the Potters rolling with a groundball single. After hitting a pitch into right field, Nolan Clifford (Creighton University) raced around first base and slid into second turning his base hit into a double. Trey Furrey capped the fifth inning with an RBI-single, and Clifford scored on a catching error, giving the Potters a 7-3 lead.
Motheral went 2-for-5 with a walk and two RBI.
But the Sacramento Yankees came back in the seventh inning, and a two-RBI single by Scott David tied the game 7-7. Joey Dice walked to load the bases, and Christian Smith’s groundball single scored two runs.
The Potters play the Gold Sox at Marysville tomorrow and will start league play Friday at McBean Park against the Solano Mudcats.
You can find tonight’s box score here.
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