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Potters Hand Prune Packers First Home Loss

PC: Jordan Georgeson

On Tuesday night, the 24-17 Lincoln Potters made the trip to Healdsburg for the first game of a three-game series with the 33-3 Prune Packers. In early June, the Packers swept the Potters in a four-game series outscoring them by a 28-run margin. The Packers also entered play with an undefeated 23-0 record playing at Recreation Park, their home stadium. 

The Potters entered play after falling to the Walnut Creek Crawdads in a three-game series that significantly hindered their postseason chances. That being said, the Potters scored 35 runs in the series and it seemed every player on the team was swinging a hot bat.

Getting off to a quick start, Payton Brennan (UCLA) and Nolan Wilson (University of Nevada) each tallied RBI in the first inning, giving Potters’ starting pitcher, Max Manning (UC Davis) an immediate cushion. Manning previously pitched just four days earlier in Medford, leading the Potters to a win with five strikeouts in four innings. He allowed two baserunners in the first but forced a double play to get out of the inning. 

The Packers stormed back in the second and third innings. After Connor Charpiot (Santa Rosa Junior College) lead off the second with a home run, the Packers tied it up with an additional three singles in the inning. Another leadoff bomb in the third inning put the Packers up 3-2.

After back-to-back 1-2-3 innings from the Potters’ offense, they got back on track in the fourth scoring two more runs before the Packers would retie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the inning with their third solo home run of the game. 

Ben Higdon (University of Kentucky) scored on an error in the fifth to regain the lead before his college teammate, Patrick Herrera (University of Kentucky) would mash a home run of his own to put the Potters up by three. This was Herrera’s third home run of the month.

With Manning still on the bump, the Packers managed to score a run before he was replaced by Devin Marton (University of Nevada) with a 7-5 lead. With two of Manning’s baserunners still on, Marton allowed back-to-back hits allowing the Packers to regain the lead by a score of 8-7. In only five innings, the lead had already changed five times. 

Neither team recorded a baserunner in the sixth inning thanks to Arthur Steinkamp (University of New Mexico) making his third relief appearance of the season. 

Still down by one, Payton Brennan managed to tie the game on a wild pitch in the seventh inning before Steinkamp forced a double play on his way to another scoreless inning on the mound. 

In the eighth, the Potters managed to regain the lead for the first time since the fifth inning when Luke Odden (Georgia Southern University) brought home Brandon Forrester (Oregon State University) with a sacrifice fly to center field. Steinkamp remained in the game for the eighth and maintained the lead despite the Potters’ second defensive error of the game in the inning.

The Potters were now just three outs away from handing the Healdsburg Prune Packers their first home loss and fourth overall loss of the season. Before that, however, two costly Prune Packer errors allow the Potters to score four unearned runs in the top of the ninth inning, extending their lead to five.

13-8 would be the final score in Healdsburg as Arthur Steinkamp retired the final three Packers without trouble, earning himself his first win of the season against a very worthy opponent. The Potters will have two more opportunities to take down this impressive Prune Packer roster, the first of which coming at McBean Park on Wednesday night at 6:35.



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