Rams walk it off over the weekend
Loss motivates players to work harder for next game
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 17:02
The Rams faced Lubbock Christian University over the weekend and lost two out of three, but their lone win was a classic.
Starting pitcher, senior Michael Lange, was rattled early as he gave up five earned runs off of three homers and a pair of doubles in six innings of work.
The Rams were down as much as 5-1, but Lange kept the lead by striking out six and walking zero batters.
The Rams battled back: junior shortstop Christian Summers doubled a run in before being thrown out on a base running mistake in the third inning.
The Rams added a pair of runs off of sacrifice flies by sophomore infielder Brett David and junior infield Reggie Rodriguez in the sixth inning to make it 5-3.
Then junior Jake Feckley, who was experiencing pain in his arm this season, came out to pitch in the seventh inning.
“It was really good to see him out there throwing with no pain,” Head Coach Kevin Brooks said.
Feckley struck out two in the seventh and a controversial pickoff throw from senior catcher Andrew LaCombe to senior first baseman Quaid McKinnon gave the Rams the third out.
LaCombe threw a rocket to McKinnon who then tagged the base runner just before he got back to first base.
However, McKinnon lost the ball out of his glove which would make the runner safe, but the umpire saw differently and called the runner out.
Lubbock Christian’s manager wasn’t too happy about it and proceeded to argue the call with the umpire, who ejected him on the spot.
“Probably got a pretty good point,” Brooks said about the opposing manager being upset.
Despite the ending, Brooks didn’t think that one play would’ve made a giant difference in the outcome of the game.
“There were two outs and a runner on first,” Brooks said.
McKinnon batted a runner in on a ground-out in the seventh to cut the lead to 5-4.
Feckley had a rough eighth inning and gave up two runs on a double that made the game 7-4, but stayed calm and got the outs.
David managed to draw a walk and while he stole second, LCU’s catcher made an error on the throw to second base that went straight into center field.
David scored on the error to make the game 7-5 and after a quick top of the ninth, the Rams were ready to show their final late game magic act.
Second baseman Tyler Coughenour got a single past the third baseman through the left side to lead off the inning.
Summers then lined out to right field for the first out.
Coughenour stole second and McKinnon grounded out to the second baseman to advance Coughenour to third.
The Rams were down two and the tying run at the plate in the form of senior outfielder Lee Neumann.
Neumann, who hit a homer in the Rams home opener, was ready to lash out.
Neumann belted the ball past the third baseman down the left field line.
Coughenour scored and Neumann made it to second with a double and Rodriguez at bat.
“Lee got a great hit and got on base with two outs,” Rodriguez said. “I looked at the dugout; everybody was smiling at me and gave me confidence. I knew they had my back no matter what I was going to do.”
Rodriguez goes to the plate, gets in his stance and awaits the first pitch.
It was a fastball down the middle of the plate.
Rodriguez swung and connected with bat cracking and the ball swooshing through the air to deep center field.
“I looked down and said, ‘Please go out,’” Rodriguez said as he ran to first base.
The ball was going, the defender back at the wall, looked up and…
“Then I looked up and saw it was going over the fence.”
That ball went out of the park and the Rams walked it off with an 8-7 win with one out left in the ninth inning after being behind the entire game.
“Those are always fun,” Brooks said. “Just the way we battled back and kept competing.”
The Rams have an 8-3 record and are going to Pueblo, Colorado, to face Colorado State University-Pueblo in a four game series that will begin Thursday, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. and end on Saturday, Feb 23.