Bulldogs split with LAMP despite strong pitching performances

Caleb Turrentine / The Herald

Drew Nobles celebrates after stirking out a LAMP batter to clinch a victory in Game 1 of the series on Friday.

Drew Nobles and Braxton Buck combined to allow just two runs across 13 innings on Friday as the Holtville baseball team split with Class 4A No. 7 LAMP in the first two games of their second-round series. The Bulldogs won Game 1 2-1 behind an 11-strikeout performance by Nobles before a first-inning homer was the difference in a 1-0 loss in Game 2.

Nobles extended his scoreless innings streak to 15 before allowing a run in the sixth inning. It was all the Golden Tigers could muster though as they had just five batters reach base in the first game.

Holtville got its two runs in the third inning after loading the bases with no outs. Nobles got an RBI on a fielder’s choice and Chappelle Washam added the second run with an RBI infield single.

“Winning Game 1 is huge,” Holtville coach Torey Baird said. “All the pressure was on them. Drew is going to give us a great chance to win Game 1 every time he’s out there.”

The Bulldogs turned to Buck in Game 2 for his second start of the season. After sitting down the first two batters, LAMP’s Chris Davis sent the ball over the fence in centerfield for the first and only run of the game.

“We were trying to play a matchup with (Braxton),” Baird said. “We felt he would give us the best chance especially coming in after a hard thrower like Drew. He came in and hit his spots and did his job. He left one ball up and that was the difference.”

Buck settled down and allowed just five hits across six innings on the mound. It was his longest outing of the season and he set a new season-high with six strikeouts.

Holtville’s offense could not get anything going to support Buck on the mound. They only mustered up three hits, two by Nobles, while striking out 10 times. The Bulldogs had two on with one out in the top of the seventh but had their final two batters sat down on strikes.

“He did a good job,” Baird said of the LAMP pitcher. “He threw his fastball out and in and threw his breaking ball for a strike. Those are two good pitchers across from us and they showed it.”

The two teams will play again at 1 p.m. at Smart-Collier Field tomorrow with a spot in the 4A quarterfinals on the line. Baird expects to turn to Owen Chandlee on the mound for the deciding game.

“Once you get to this point, everyone is good,” Baird said. “We feel like we’re in a good spot and we’ll see what happens.”