Broncs ride Ortiz, Lake over Bobcats, 11-4
Posted: 02/20/1999
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Edinburg - Aaron Lakey crushed his second grand-slam home run in a week and gave pitcher Omar Ortiz all the runs he needed Friday when Texas-Pan American outslugged Southwest Texas, 11-4.

Ortiz (3-1) pitched a seven-hitter but three of them were home runs by Bobcats Jeff Gonzales, Todd Spradlin and John Tompkins.

Anthony Argeaga also homered for UTPA, yet it was two swings of Lakey's bat that accounted for six RBI, and the game.

The win started a four-game series at Jody Ramsey Stadium, raising the Broncs to 7-6 and dropping the Bobcats to 4-5.

John King now plans to broadcast the three remaining games live over KSOX Radio, 1240 AM. They play a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday, a single game at 1 p.m. Sunday.

SWT had scrambled back from a 3-1 deficit to a 4-4 tie in the sixth inning when Lakey, the senior catcher from Sperry, Okla., mashed the first pitch to him with the bases loaded high above the screen in left field. The ball bounced onto Van Week Street and into the houses beyond. It carried close to 400 feet.

The blast followed Steve Garza's being struck by a pitch, then T.J. Bartosh walking and Lumberto Ung singling to load the bases.

Suddenly the score was 8-4. Arteaga, who had homered in the fifth, followed the grand-slam with a walk off a new pitcher, then Gabe De La Garza doubled him across and it was 9-5.

Lakey clinched the victory with a two-run single in the seventh inning, after Garza was struck by another new pitcher and Bartosh singled for the second time. Garza came into the game leading the Broncs with a .410 average. Being hit by two different pitchers in one game is a rare honor.

Ortiz, given the big lead and a long rest while the Broncs batted, appeared to tire. He walked the bases loaded in the seventh, three of the four walks he allowed. Third baseman Andy Ness killed the all-walking rally by starting a double play.

Coach Reggie Tredaway took Ortiz out after his 108th pitch ended the seventh inning. Gary Sorden relieved well, shutting out SWT for two innings on one single. The big lead cost him a save.

Ortiz struck out nine of the 30 batters he faced. His fast ball was moving.

Ung, the Bronc first baseman, was robbed of a home run by the "Play of the Day" in the fourth inning, when UTPA led just 3-2. Center fielder Dane Rau of SWT raced deep into right-center, leaped high and speared the baseball in his glove above the eight-foot-high wooden fence. The ball was clearly going out when Rau caught it. The high drive carried about 380 feet from home plate.

This victory raised the Broncs above .500 for the first time since they took their opening series over Texas Lutheran, 2-1.