Lauria sparks Legacy’s bounce-back win

If the true test of a team is how it responds to a loss, Legacy’s baseball team passed with flying colors Thursday.

Two days after their first Northwest League defeat, the Longhorns rebounded with a 5-1 road victory over league foe Palo Verde (15-5, 5-2) on Thursday.

“(Our kids) showed some character to have a loss like that (12-7 by Cimarron-Memorial) and then come back and take care of business, because Palo Verde’s a good team, too,” Legacy coach Bill Dexheimer said.

The victory lifted the Longhorns (14-3) to 6-1 in the league, good for a first-place tie with Cimarron at the midway point of league play.

“Losing to Cimarron motivated us to play harder,” Legacy pitcher Joey Lauria said. “I think we did a good job.”

Lauria, a junior right-hander, did his job well, going the distance and allowing an unearned run on five hits.

“Phenomenal job. Joey pitched a hell of a game,” Dexheimer said. “He did everything we could have asked him to do right there.”

Lauria struck out six and walked two. He successfully mixed his fastball and curveball, throwing both pitches for strikes to keep the Palo Verde hitters guessing.

“He located his curveball for a strike,” Dexheimer said. “And I think he had the Palo Verde Panthers off balance a little bit with his curveball.”

Lauria said, “I’ve had good command off my curveball all year. I just try to compete every time with it and just try to get ahead in the count.”

Donald Glover’s RBI double to right-center in the first inning put Legacy ahead 1-0, and the Longhorns added three in the second on RBI singles by Jayson Henderson and Austin Christiansen and a run-scoring double by Andres Ortiz.

Lauria helped his cause with an RBI single in the sixth.

Christiansen went 3-for-4 and Lauria, Chase Skinner and Richard Esquivel each added two hits for the Longhorns.

Palo Verde’s run came on an RBI double by Alex Bonczyk.