Scalding hot Falcons take game one over Lamar behind complete game shutout from Esparza

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 5/12/22

“As the game went on I just got more confident and trusted myself more,” Esparza said. “I did that and it led to more outs and that was the biggest difference for me.

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Scalding hot Falcons take game one over Lamar behind complete game shutout from Esparza

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Trevor Esparza has been lights out all year for Tompkins.

The senior pitcher has stepped up in every appearance for the Falcons and has been a cornerstone for the team’s success.

So, when he took the bump on Thursday to open the area round of the playoffs, the expectations were no different.

But despite the lofty expectations, Esparza surpassed them, throwing a complete game shutout and striking out ten batters in a 3-0 win for Tompkins as the Falcons took a one game to nothing lead over Lamar in a best of three series.

“He’s been a consistent guy for us all year,” said Tompkins head coach Kyle Humphreys. We know we are going to get a good game from him every night he’s on the mound. He’s thrown multiple complete games with low pitch counts and he always gets ahead on guys. He’s just great with location and he keeps us in games. He gives us his best game every time he’s out there.”

Esparza was dominant all day, allowing just two hits and walked only two on 97 pitches in the win.

But the most impressive thing from Esparza was his ability to overcome a bumpy stat. It wasn’t the seniors usual dominance from the beginning, as he walked the first two batters of the game.

After those two batters, Lamar got a single but got a runner out on the bases, leaving a runner at first and third with one out.

But Esparza was having none of it, and struck out a batter before inducing a groundout to get out of the inning.

“I knew I had to bounce back as soon as I walked those two guys,” Esparza said. “The adjustment was just throwing strikes and trusting my defense. That’s what I did throughout the game and every time they put the ball in play the defense made plays.”

Tompkins had an off day offensively, but it didn’t matter behind Esparza’s pitching.

The Falcons took the lead in the second inning, as Ty Dagley reached on an error and after advancing to third, scored on a steal of home on a delayed double steal to put Tompkins in front.

“As soon as I saw the pitcher make a move towards first base I was looking to go,” Dagley said. “When the other guy took off I did the same and I knew with a lefty pitcher that he wouldn’t be looking at me, so I took off and I’m just happy I made it home safe.”

Tompkins added two more runs in the next inning, Jace LaViolette drove in two with a home run that he scorched off the left field foul pole.

“We were putting the balls in play, we just kept hitting into outs today, but Jace getting that two run bomb was so huge for us,” Dagley said. “We play hard and we play smart and it just shows how you can win even if the team isn’t having the best day at the plate.”

That would be all the offense the Falcons needed. Lamar threatened in the third after getting a one out double, but Esparza responded with two strikeouts to end the inning and then faced the minimum the rest of the way.

“As the game went on I just got more confident and trusted myself more,” Esparza said. “I did that and it led to more outs and that was the biggest difference for me.

Tompkins will play game two against Lamar at Delmar Stadium on Friday with a chance to clinch a spot in the regional quarterfinals.

We can’t get ahead of ourselves,” Esparza said. “We have to take it game by game and inning by inning. If we keep our eye on that, score runs and play defense we’ll be good.”

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