Mules outlast Lobos in extra inning thriller

Hunter Lehman winds up for a pitch against Alamo Heights on Tuesday. Despite nine strikeouts from Lehman, the Lobos fell 2-0 in 12 innings. (Photo by Rafael Marquez)

by MOSES LEOS III

Over the past weekend, the Lehman baseball team participated in the Comal ISD tournament, with the Lobos finishing with a 2-2 record, defeating Canyon Lake 2-1 and Akins 7-5.

But the chance to put a district win in their record wasn’t to be on Tuesday, when Lehman squared off against Alamo Heights in the first district contest of the season for both squads. It would be a memorable one, as both pitching staffs extended the game well into extra innings. However, two runs scored in the top of the twelfth allowed Heights to defeat Lehman 2-0 in twelve innings.

For most of the ball game, the pitching staffs ruled the diamond, with both teams’ starters keeping the opposition’s offense off balance. Lobo starting pitcher Hunter Lehman completed seven innings of shutout baseball, giving up only one hit while striking out nine batters.

Lehman attributed his success to his supporting cast. “A pitcher cannot pitch well without a good defense,” he said. This point was made in the third and seventh innings, where the Lobo defense helped Lehman escape situations with runners in scoring position. The highlight would come in the third inning, via an unassisted line drive double play by second baseman Xavier Solis.

However, Heights pitcher Cameron Mineo was equally up to the task, as he was able to go ten innings, giving up one hit, while striking out an astounding 19 Lobo batters. While the Lobo offense remained aggressive at the plate all evening long, the savvy pitching of Mineo proved to be too much for the Lobos to overcome.

“(Mineo) was able to hit his spots tonight, which kept us guessing. I felt that we could have done better at the plate, especially with two strikes. However, (Mineo) pitched a great game,” said Lobo head coach Toby Robinson.

Neither team was able to manufacture any offense until the 12th inning. Heights loaded the bases on two walks and a hit, before Mineo hit into a fielder’s choice at third base. Despite a strong throw by Mark Garcia from third to home plate, the ball was jarred loose from the Lobo catcher’s hands, allowing Heights to score the two go-ahead runs.

With the loss, Lehman falls to 0-1 in district play. The Lobos will look to rebound from the Heights loss in the Austin ISD tournament, which runs from March 7-9.

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