A first inning grand-slam by state ranked Lake Travis (23-1) set the tone Tuesday as the Cavalier bats overpowered Lehman (9-12) 14-2 at Lobo Field.
“It’s not a big deal, we are not worried about beating Westlake or Lake Travis,” said Lehman head coach Toby Robinson. “We have goals that are set in our program and we are just worried about getting some at bats and getting people in that need some playing time. Our second half of the season starts on Friday.”
The Lobos found themselves in a hole early in the game after loading the bases with three walks in the top of the first inning. Lake Travis Parker Guerin made things worse for Lehman as he then belted a grand slam over the left center field wall to put the Cavaliers up four.
“I told them it didn’t matter what the score is, obviously we’ve been down 4-0 in the first against Austin High,” Robinson told his team after the rough first inning. “We then beat them (Austin) 15-6. We won’t worry about the first inning.”
Lehman’s Emory Saucedo got the Lobos on the board in the third inning with a hard hit single to left field that brought one runner home. But, just as the Lobos were starting to gain momentum Lake Travis Brett Baty smashed a two-run home run over the center field wall to give them a 7-1 lead in the fourth inning.
The Lobo bats never seemed to quite get going in the game as they only had five hits over seven innings compared to the Cavaliers’ 11. Lehman would score another run in the sixth inning off a bases-loaded walk, but Lake Travis poured the runs on in the top of the seventh scoring six more runs.
“We weren’t horrible at bats, that guy (Storm Hierhozler) is a good pitcher,” Robinson said. “We went up there and it was just okay. It could have been better obviously. But anytime one of the top teams in the nation come into town, with a really great player at third base that everybody is talking about, it kind of shaked them up a little bit.”
While the game was a blowout, Robinson saw value in playing multiple players and putting them in situations they could possibly face if the Lobos were to make the playoffs. Not to mention getting as many players experience against a national ranked team is considered a good teaching tool.
“Our whole thing is what are we doing for the playoffs,” said Robinson. “The more guys I can get at bats in, and bring them in tight situations. So when we are in the playoffs and that happens, so they can come in there make decisions and make plays when the game is on the line.”
Lehman currently sits in fifth place in District 25 with a 5-6 district record. With only four games remaining in the regular season, the Lobos will be competing against Austin High (6-6), Anderson (4-6) and Bowie (3-6) for the fourth spot, with Hays (6-3), Westlake (9-2) and Lake Travis (11-1) likely securing the top three spots in district.
“Just a grind, you know that’s what my team is,” Robinson said about what it’s going to take to make the playoffs. “They all have their own individual piece to the puzzle, and if they bring it everyday, then we have no problems.”
Lehman will hit the road this Friday to start its march towards the playoffs as the face Del Valle at 7:00 p.m.