Thoughts of his mom help Lamaster corral Mines
The purple hats reminded him of what his mother went through.
Brent Lamaster had her in the back of his mind when he took the mound Thursday night in the Mesa State College baseball team’s Game of Hope cancer fundraiser against the Colorado School of Mines.
Then the senior right-hander beat the Orediggers 9-0 like his mother, Teresa Lamaster, beat cervical cancer.
“My mom had cancer back about five years ago,” Lamaster said. “Coming into (Thursday), I had no idea this was cancer night. Once I heard about it, it made me think of her and how happy I am for her. I wouldn’t say I was playing for something, but it was definitely in the back of my mind.”
Lamaster (5-0) threw a complete-game, three-hit shutout in front of 1,169 at Suplizio Field.
The third-ranked Mavericks (31-5, 21-2 RMAC) are on a 13-game winning streak and have won 18 of their past 19 games.
Mesa State raised $700 through its silent auction for the American Cancer Society. That figure doesn’t include money from ticket sales.
Lamaster limited Mines (6-26, 3-16 RMAC) to three hits, one walk and struck out 10 in the nine-inning game.
“I felt like I was aiming the first few innings instead of throwing,” he said. “After the first few innings, I settled in, rarin’ back and throwing it.
“I have faith in my stuff. I definitely feel confident out there now. I’ve had down times. I struggled last year and did early this year. Being consistent is what it’s all about.”
Lamaster gave up back-to-back singles in the second inning but got out of it when catcher Grant Vickers picked off Bryan Coday at first base for the third out. Lamaster hit the first batter in the third but got three consecutive ground balls to get out of the inning. He appeared to be cruising until the fifth when he stepped off the mound breathing heavily, prompting a visit from trainer Josh Fullmer.
“He had a little trouble in the fifth inning with his breathing,” Vickers said. “He said it’s happened once before in junior college, but he was able to settle down and cruise from there.”
Lamaster struck out three consecutive batters in the sixth and allowed one base runner on a single in the final three innings.
“He’s getting command of that curveball and slider,” Mesa State coach Chris Hanks said. “He had a little trouble in the first couple innings. He was pitching behind a lot, but he got stronger as the game went along. He did a great job.”
Lamaster received all the run support he needed in the first inning when Craig Lanzarotta singled home Kevin Becker and Matt Bodenchuk.
Mesa added five runs in the fifth, including three on a bases-loaded triple by senior Blake Carlquist, starting in place of Mike Provencher, who hasn’t played since twisting his ankle two weeks ago against CSU-Pueblo.
“It was awesome, especially not getting to play as much you’d like,” Carlquist said. “I know my role and try to take advantage of opportunities when they come.”
Carlquist was 1 for 3 with three RBI in his third start of the season. Justin Little was 3 for 5 with two runs and one RBI. Lanzarotta was 2 for 4 with three RBI.
Mesa plays the Orediggers in a doubleheader at 3:30 p.m. today at Suplizio Field.