Game one of the 2010 Western District started out on a great note for the Runnin’ Lopes with a 8-5 victory over Region I representative for Central Arizona College. Michael Oberto (13-2) pitched an outstanding game going 8 2/3 innings striking out 13 and allowing 5 runs. With the victory Michael breaks a school record for wins in a season with 13. Brandon Ward-Hersee was called on with two outs, picking up his 25th save on the season. The 25 sets a new mark for a national record with the NJCAA. The Lopes pounded out ten hits and had home run production by Spenser Smith and Jake Davis.
Game two brought the two undefeated teams together in the bracket: College of Southern Nevada and Lamar Community College. Shane Zaruba got to start for the Lopes against the number two ranked team in the country. Shane left the game after 5 2/3 innings pitched and a 5-4 lead. The game was back and forth with four lead changes. With two outs in the sixth inning, the Lopes tried to seal the victory with bringing in always reliable closer Brandon Ward-Hersee to pitch extended innings. After getting a strike out to end the 6th, the 7th inning did not go the Lopes’ or Brandon’s way. Two home runs and two misplayed fly balls led to a eight run inning and the College of Southern Nevada did not look back, scoring 18 runs in the 7th & 8th. Brandon Ward-Hersee (3-2) picked up the loss and the final score was 22-8.
After the loss, the Lopes had to play another nine inning elimination game against Central Arizona College beginning at 6 pm. Arturo Maltos-Garcia (7-2) started for the Lopes and lasted 3 innings, allowing 8 runs and 3 strikeout and 4 walks. With challenging pitching conditions for both teams, there were 13 runs scored in the first two innings. Shane Dedig came in relief and was quickly pulled after three walks. Joe Wahl pitched the final 5 innings allowing 6 runs with 5 strikeouts. Lopes’ pitching allowed 14 free bases and 6 home runs in the final game of the 2010 season, losing 17-8. At the plate the Lopes knocked out 15 hits, with Travis Hayes, Max Milot, and Eric Dorton each picking up three.
The Lopes end the year 48-12 with a conference and regional title.
Western District results
Game 1: Lamar CC 8 / Central Arizona College 5
Game 2: College of Southern Nevada 9 / Western Nebraska CC 8
Game 3: Central Arizona College 17 / Western Nebraska CC 4
Game 4: College of Southern Nevada 22 / Lamar CC 8
Game 5: Central Arizona College 17 / Lamar CC 8
Game 6: Central Arizona College 21 / College of Southern Nevada 14
Game 7: College of Southern Nevada 25 / Central Arizona College 11