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High School Baseball: Lopes stars in win

Senior helps Edison to 2-0 wild-card win over Chaparral.

May 16, 2012

HUNTINGTON BEACH — Timmy Lopes started things for Edison Tuesday, then polished things off.

Lopes, a senior, opened the scoring and took to the mound in the late stages of Edison's CIF Southern Section Division 1 wild-card baseball game against Chaparral, and his book-end performances capped a 2-0 victory for the host Chargers. He hit a first-inning home run and later came on in relief of starting pitcher Tyler Jones to close out the final 1 2/3 innings.

Lopes struck out three of the six batters he faced.

"This game was a total mirror image of our entire season," Edison Coach Steve Lambright said after Edison improved to 14-13 overall and advanced to play a first-round game at No. 3-seeded JW North. "Timmy Lopes homers, Tyler Jones pitches well, and then Timmy [Lopes] comes in and finishes the job. That's how it's been all year."

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Jones gave up four hits but kept Chaparral (13-14, Southwestern League at-large) at a distance for much of his six-plus inning stint. In the top of the sixth, the junior, who entered the game with a 2.04 ERA, gave up a lead-off single to Chris Stratton who eventually moved to third base on an infield error by the Chargers. Jones (5-2) exited the game with runners at the corners and one out. Enter Lopes, who then got the Pumas' Jake Trybulski to strike out looking, and Derek Quinn to ground out to third to end the threat.

Lopes struck out two to start the seventh, gave up a single to Shane Fioresi, then ended the game on a fly out to shallow left field.

"Tyler was pitching a shutout but things could have taken a turn there in the sixth," Lambright said. "I felt bad taking him out, but I felt that I had to bring in my horse [Lopes]. "

Lopes' solo home run in the opening inning provided Edison with what turned out to be the winning run. The Chargers scored their second run in the bottom of the second on an infield throwing error by the Pumas.

Edison entered the wild-card game hitting .236 as a team. The Chargers were outhit by Chaparral, 5-4, but rode pitching and defense, to get the win. Oh, and a big blast by Lopes who Lambright said is heading to UC Irvine.

Lopes came into the postseason with a .404 batting average.

"In my 18 years of coaching, Timmy [Lopes] is the best athlete that I have ever coached," Lambright said. "He's the whole package, physically, mentally, and has the make-up to be very successful at the next level."

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