In what could be considered one of the better non-conference rivalries in the area, the Seward County Saints traveled to Lamar on Wednesday to take on the Lamar Runnin Lopes. Seward would get all over the Lopes in game one of the double dip as they took an early lead before scoring seven runs in the 5th and 6th innings to come away with a 10-4 win. In game two it was Lamar who would come out on the good end of a 4-3 decision as the Lopes scored two in the 4th and then one in the 6th and one in the 7th to come away with the walkoff one run victory.

The Saints would get on the board early in game one as Brittain Ibbotson walked to lead off the game and would score later in the 1st inning on an error to put Seward up 1-0. Saints starter Austin Beisel would work out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the inning with a pair of strikeouts and Seward would tack on another run on a solo home run from Tanner Rainey to lead off the 2nd inning to make it 2-0. Seward would have a chance to add onto their lead in the top half of the 3rd inning as they would load the bases with two outs but a pop out would end the frame and the threat to keep it a two run game. Lamar would get their first run in the bottom half of the 3rd inning as a two out hit by pitch followed by back to back singles would score a run to cut the lead in half but Seward would push back two runs ahead in the top of the 4th as Willy Gustin would trot around the bases on a leadoff bomb to make it 3-1. Things would pick up on the offensive end for both teams in the 5th inning as the Saints picked up three runs on RBI knocks from Jon Mestas and Rainey as well as a groundout by Gustin to put them ahead 6-1. The Lopes would match the Saints three spot in the bottom half of the inning as a two out single to score a run followed by a two run shot from catcher Mark Ortivez would bring Lamar back to within two at 6-4 as they went to the 6th. In the Saints half of the 6th they would prey on what would be less than ‘relief’ pitching for the Lopes as Rainey would pick up another RBI with an infield single, Gustin would continue his big day behind him with a 2 RBI single and Eddie Williams would get in the act as well with Seward’s third straight two out hit to put them comfortably ahead 10-4. Lamar would never get close again as Seward reliever Logan Hall kept them off the board with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to close the ballgame and pick up his first career save for the Saints as they went on to win 10-4. Rainey and Gustin would do a job on the Lamar pitching in the game as the two combined to go 5 for 8 with 3 runs scored and 7 RBI’s in the win while Jake Barrios and Tyler Hill would also combine to go 5 for 8 with 3 runs scored for Seward. Beisel picks up the win for the Saints as he went his scheduled 2 innings in the midweek tussle, he allowed just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3 and keeping the Lopes off the scoreboard.
Effectively wild pitching is what you could consider the first three innings for both teams. Seward would get a pair of walks in the 1st inning but wouldn’t be able to cash either in for runs as a double play ended the inning and Lamar would get a leadoff walk in their half of the 1st but three straight strikeouts by Saints starter Keegan Hucul would not allow them to capitalize on that to keep the game scoreless. Seward would get two more walks in the 2nd inning but would also strikeout three times to keep them from getting on the board and the Lopes would go down in order in their half of the frame to keep the score 0-0 into the 3rd. Seward would go 1-2-3 in the 3rd but Hucul would continue to quiet the Lope bats in the 3rd with a single the only blemish in the inning and swiftly the teams went to the 4th inning with neither team scoring a run yet. The Saints 4th would see no action again and this time Lamar would take advantage and take their first lead of the day. A leadoff double and a single sandwiched around a strikeout would have them with runners on second and third with one out. A 3-2 walk would then load the bases and Ortivez would break the silence on the scoreboard with a two run single to left to put Lamar up 2-0 after 4. The Saints would get their first hit of the game in the 5th inning but would do nothing with it and Seward relief pitcher Jose Gonzalez would pitch around a leadoff double and a walk to keep it a 2-0 game in favor of Lamar. The Saints would finally get something cooking in the 6th inning as Jordan Dallalio walked to start the frame and Barrios doubled behind him to put runners on second and third with nobody out. An error by Lamar shortstop Pier-Oliver Dostaler would score Dallalio and Barrios would be quickly brought home on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Mestas to tie the game at 2-2. With two outs in the inning, Mestas would then score on a wild pitch to put the Saints up 3-2 but the Seward lead wouldn’t last long as the Lopes got back to back two out hits in the bottom of the inning to tie things up at 3 as the teams went to the 7th. The top of the Seward order could get nothing working in the 7th and they would pay in the bottom half of the inning as Lamar got a leadoff single to get things going and the runner would be moved to second quickly with a sacrifice bunt. A walk would put runners on first and second and a 1-1 offering from Gustin would be hit for a single to score the run and give the Lopes the 3-2 walkoff win. The Saints would be outhit 9 to 3 in the game with their only three hits coming off the bats of Barrios, Jacob Jebb, and Jace Moore.
The Saints split their seventh straight double header to move to 10-8 overall on the season. Their next action will come this weekend in Concordia when they make the long drive for a four game set with the Cloud County Thunderbirds, who like the Saints, come into the weekend with a 2-2 conference mark. Double headers on both Saturday and Sunday will begin at 1:00.