The No. 23 Lubbock-Cooper baseball team started district play with a walk off loss to MHS 9-8 Tuesday night at Moegle Field.
The Pirates (7-5-1) went down early 3-0 in the first inning but battled back to tie the game in the top of the 7th after a Plainsmen throwing error pushed the tying run across. LCP scored four runs in the third and three runs in the fifth to set up the all-important bottom of the 7th inning.
Senior pitcher Tommy D’Alise started the game on the mound for the Pirates but his stick was what kept Lubbock-Cooper in the ballgame. D’Alise had three of the twelve Cooper hits, driving in two RBI with a double in the third and singles in the fifth and seventh.
The right-handed pitcher went 5.0+ innings against the Plainsmen picking up his second no decision on the year. The Northwestern signee stuck out 3 batters while giving up 6 runs, 4 earned, on six hits and 1 walk. Sophomore Zac Rubio came in relief of D’Alise and threw two strikeouts in 1.0 inning allowing two runs. Another senior, Connor Denham (1-1) pitched the seventh picking up the loss as Jalen Benton scored on a sacrifice fly by Caylor Dannevik.
Trailing 3-0 after the first inning of play, the Pirates stormed back in the top of the third plating 4 runs to take the lead for the first time in the game. Junior outfielder Cole Carter led off the inning with a triple down the right field line and wasn’t there long as the next batter Benton Ford hit his second double of the year to score Carter. Junior catcher Jarred Gibson double in the left-center field gap two batters later to record his twelfth RBI of the season. A third double of the inning came off the bat of Tommy D’Alise which scored courtesy runner Jaeden Cowan from second.
In the top of the fifth, Lubbock-Cooper extended their lead to 7-3 as the middle of the lineup came through again. Gibson double for the second time in the game bringing his season total to two. Texas Tech signee Connor Denham followed with an RBI single, D’Alise picked up a single, and Hunter Nelson walked to load the bases. After a pitching change and a quick strikeout, Austin Vaught hit a blooper into shallow center field to plate two more Pirates.
Monterey (6-5, 1-0) scored two runs in the fifth, three runs in the sixth, and 1 in the bottom of the seventh to win the district home opener. Graeson Decker got the start and went 4.1 innings giving up seven runs on nine hits. Sophomore Lex Garcia was credited with the win in relief behind 2.2 innings of work allowing only 1 run, unearned and struck out 5 Cooper batters. The top third of the Plainsmen lineup combined for seven hits, four RBI and scored seven runs in the win.
Lubbock-Cooper will return to tournament play for the weekend without having to leave the city, as they will participate in the First Bank Classic in Lubbock, Texas. The Pirates are scheduled to play 5 games throughout the weekend with 2 games on Thursday, 2 games on Friday, and 1 game on Saturday. LCP will play Waco Midway (1:00) and El Paso Montwood (7:00) on March 8th, Odessa Permian (4:00) and El Paso Coronado (7:00) on March 9th, and Plainview (2:00) on March 10th. The next radio broadcast will be Tuesday, March 13th vs Lubbock High at 7:00 on 100.7 The Score.
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