Laredo Lemurs as Hot as the Texas Sun: Lemurs Line
You’ll have to forgive the Laredo Lemurs if they are not exactly impressed by the 60 wins that Wichita has. Yes, those are six more than the Winnipeg Goldeyes, who have the second best record in the league, and they are eight more than Laredo has won, but that doesn’t matter to this team. After all, they have won 10 straight games and are 15-3 since the All-Star break. Their only three loses came against the Grand Prairie AirHogs, the team the Lemurs beat Monday night. It is an incredible run that has them believing that they are really the team to beat for the American Association championship, and with good reason.
Monday night the team showed why they are so difficult to beat. The Lemurs jumped out at 2-o lead, but in the fifth inning starter Josh Strawn could not hold it. He loaded the bases with one out, giving up two singles and a walk. Miquel Castano then singled to score Mathew Burns and Eric Baker, and the game was tied at 2. Ryde Rodriguez followed with a fielder’s choice that put the AirHogs ahead and after Jason Botts walked to load the bases, Brian Peterson drove in the fourth run of the inning, and Strawn’s day was over.
The game remained 4-2 through the sixth, but in the seventh the Lemurs got back on top to stay. Hayden Shirley relieved for Grand Prairie and got into trouble right away. He began the inning by hitting Harrison Kain and then All-Star Nick Van Stratten singled to move Harrison to third. Denis Phipps then followed with a single, scoring Kain and the deficit was down to one. One out later John Alonso walked, and Shirley was relieved by Tobin Mateychick.
Grand Prairie clung to a 4-3 lead, but that was not going to last for long. Devin Goodwin singled, scoring Phipps and Alonso to give the Lemurs a 5-4 lead. Byron Wily then singled to score JP Ramirez and Goodwin. Carlos Ramirez then singled to score Wiley and the score was 8-4.
In the eighth both teams would score a run, but Grand Prairie was not going to get any closer. The six-run seventh was just too much for them to overcome, and the AirHogs fell for the seventh game in a row.
Van Stratten and Alonso both had three hits in the game and each scored a run. Travis Denker added his league leading 24th home run of the season and Goodwin had two RBI. Michael Suk got the win to move to 4-1 on the season.
For the victorious Lemurs the win keeps them 7.5 games behind the Wichita Wingnuts in the South Division, but they are also seven up on St. Paul for the Wild Care lead. They are almost a lock for the playoffs, and this weekend fans will get to get a look at how good this team really is, as they welcome the Wingnuts to town for a four-game series. This could be an opportunity for Laredo to not only show that they are equally as good as Wichita, but a four-game sweep would put them just 3.5 games out, and they still have four more games against the Wingnuts. That is two days away however. For now, the Lemurs will play two more games against Grand Prairie.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA