Roberto Carrasco, a 2012 graduate of Valencia High School, has been named the interim head baseball coach at Lamar Community College in Lamar, Colo.
Carrasco previously served as an assistant for the program, primarily working with the hitters under previous head coach Ben Buck, who left to take a position in the New York Yankees organization.
After graduating from VHS, Carrasco went to Lamar as a player, where he spent two seasons as a middle infielder before finishing his college career at West Texas A&M, graduating in 2017.
The man who recruited him to West Texas was none other than Buck, who had played at Lamar in the early 2000s.
It was also Buck who brought Carrasco back to Lamar as an assistant for the spring 2019 season after one of his assistants took a job with the Texas Rangers.
When Buck called, Carrasco didn’t have much time to mull the decision over, as he needed to be on campus in ten days for the start of spring ball.
Prior to joining the staff at Lamar, Carrasco was helping give lessons at Five Tool Baseball in Texas, but otherwise wasn’t involved in the game.
While a student at VHS, Carrasco played baseball for his older brother Carlos, who he credits with sparking his interest in getting into coaching.
“The impact he’s had while at VHS, he’s done a really good job influencing kids to be the best versions of themselves,” Carrasco said.
He knew while playing for his brother that he wanted to coach some day, but coaching at the college level was not something that he initially considered.
He wanted join his older brother in the high school ranks and have an opportunity to influence kids from a younger age.
However, he has found a fit in college, which has been driven by the enjoyment he finds in recruiting and being able to get out and talk to kids and their parents.
Initially, Carrasco wasn’t interested in taking over the head role, but after talking with Buck and athletic director Scott Crampton, who was his coach at Lamar, and seeing the confidence they have in him, he took over the program.
The biggest change in the day-to-day for Carrasco has been how much work there is that isn’t directly tied to baseball.
Now, things like creating practice plans take up much of his time as opposed to the game itself.
80 percent of his time as an assistant was spent on baseball, now there’s much more busy work that comes across his desk.
The first month of his tenure in charge has, admittedly, been a bit overwhelming, but being able to lean on Crampton helps to put his mind at ease.
Plus, Buck did what he could before he left to help simplify things for Carrasco and allow him to hit the ground running with the season right around the corner.
The season begins for the Runnin’ Lopes on Saturday, Feb. 1, with a three game set against Garden City Community College.
The Lopes will come to New Mexico on Saturday, Feb. 15, for a doubleheader against New Mexico Military Institute and El Paso Community College at the Albuquerque Regional Sports Complex.
It will be their only trip to the Land of Enchantment this season.
LCC will look to build on the success of last season, when the team went 32-27 and claimed a Region 9 Championship.
Region 9 is made up of community colleges in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Montana.