Crawdads Pinch Potters' Win Streak

PC: Jordan Georgeson

On Tuesday night, 13-8 Lincoln Potters got their first impressions this season of the 8-3 Walnut Creek Crawdads. While this would only be an oddly-scheduled one-game matchup, the two teams were still playing for sole possession of second place in the CCL North to this point in the season.

First-year head coach Jon Peters entrusted 19-year old, John Alkire (Charleston Southern) to to make his second start this year. His first start came against the Stompers where he allowed only two runs and four hits over four innings.

Things didn’t go as swimmingly against the Crawdads that night, however. Alkire only allowed two earned runs in the first but the Crawdads scored four and Alkire was immediately replaced by Gabe Maya (Loyola Marymount University) in the second inning. 

Ben Higdon (University of Kentucky) drove in his first run of the night on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first, driving in Chase Jans (University of Kansas). This would mark the fifth straight game the Potters have scored a run in the first inning, yet they still trailed 4-1.

Maya entered and immediately slowed the hot Crawdad bats. With only 36 pitches, Maya went three innings only allowing two baserunners. Maya has consistently shown his ability to acquire volume outs out of the bullpen this season, as he now ranks second in the Potters overall in innings pitched, only trailing Peyton Stumbo (University of Nevada).

While Maya was in the midst of his dominance, the Potters scored two in the bottom of the third on Ben Higdon’s first home run of the season and a Tyler Gerety (University of Kansas) RBI single. According to Trackman, Higdon’s bomb was hit with an exit velocity of 110mph and Higdon knew it as he admired this one for a few seconds before beginning his trot around the bases. 

The Crawdads restarted their scoring in the fifth, putting two up on Logan Bell (Bowling Green State University) who entered this game far earlier than he was normally used to.

To shorten the three-run gap, Ben Higdon cleared the right field fence for the second time that night, hopefully, a good step in the right direction for Higdon who acknowledged he had been struggling up to that point. He credited the Potters’ coaching staff (especially Mike Marjama) for helping him out of his slump. At the end of the fifth, the Potters still trailed 6-4.

Three other Potter relievers pitched the remaining four innings, giving up three runs (only two of which were earned. The Crawdads scored four runs on errors throughout the game and despite totaling the same amount of hits as the Potters, managed to win 9-5.

The Potters won’t see the Crawdads again until mid-July but play a non-league game on Thirsty Thursday at the Bean against the Alameda Merchants.


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