Lopes makes sure Edison beats Marina
HUNTINGTON BEACH — Count Marina coach Robert Marshall among Edison star Timmy Lopes’ many admirers.
Count the Chargers’ 3-1 victory Wednesday against Marina among Lopes’ many clutch performances this season.
A frustrated Marshall came away from the defeat feeling like his Vikings beat themselves, as two errors early led to two Edison runs. But he made sure to acknowledge how Lopes beat them too.
“We gave it away,” Marshall said. “We outhit them.
"Lopes is a great shortstop. He made every play at short. He comes in and closes out the game for them. He's a leader. He’s a guy that leads this team and he does a great job.”
Marina trailed, 2-1, in the sixth inning and had runners on first and third with no out when Lopes, who has signed with UC Irvine, made his usual trek from shortstop to the mound. Lopes escaped the jam by getting the next three batters to fly out, line out and ground out.
He allowed a leadoff double in the seventh but held him there while retiring the next three batters for the save.
“Timmy’s our MVP,” Edison coach Steve Lambright said. “As I've said before, he's the best athlete I've ever coached. It’s not just about his physical presence but his mental presence. I knew he could handle that environment. If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t be where we’re at.”
Edison (10-11, 8-4) is tied with Marina (14-9, 8-4) for second in the Sunset League, one game behind Los Alamitos. The Chargers and Vikings meet at Marina on Friday.
Edison closes out the regular season next week with two games against Los Alamitos, while Marina will play a pair against fourth-place Huntington Beach.
The Chargers took advantage of two errors, two sacrifices and a single to score a run in each of the first two innings. They then went hitless until the sixth inning, when second baseman Joey DeMarco’s infield single drove in an insurance run.
Marina starter Max Gibbs went four innings and allowed two unearned runs on one hit.
Marina nearly scored on its first hit, a Kevin Isa single in the third inning, but Billy McGinnis’ dart of a throw from right field nailed the Vikings runner at the plate.
Edison pitcher Tyler Jones had another quality start, giving up four hits and one earned run over five innings.
“He has really given us a shot to win ballgames (given) the nature of our offense,” Lambright said. “In the game of baseball, if you can pitch and play defense, no matter how inept your offense is, you can find a way to win.”
It’s been the story of the season for the Chargers. The three-time defending league champions are in the thick of the title race despite averaging just under three runs per game.
“No one would have thought we’d be where we’re at,” Lambright said. “I’m proud of them that they’ve been able to go through this process and do something special.”
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