|Lake baseball beats Otsego for district crown|
|Written by By THOMAS SCHMELTZ/Sentinel Sports Writer|
|Sunday, 20 May 2012 04:31|
Last Tuesday the Flyers clinched the Northern Buckeye Conference title in a 15-1 win over Rossford, and Saturday night at Defiance High School Lake won the Division III district title by holding off Otsego in a 5-4 victory. PHOTO GALLERY
Lake (24-5) will play Bloom-Carroll on Thursday at Elida High School at 5 p.m.
“It’s been a very good week,” said Lake head coach Greg Wilker. “We have eight seniors and they just want to keep playing. They’re excited to keep playing. They enjoy being around each other and it shows.”
Otsego, which got on the board first, taking a 1-0 after the top of the second inning, never gave in, and the Knights had a chance to come back in the seventh inning.
Otsego trailed 5-3 entering the seventh inning and had the bases loaded with just one out against Lake reliever Jayce Vancena, but the Knights were only able to scratch across one run, which came via a Hunter Donald sacrifice fly that scored Collin Austin.
The sac fly gave Lake two outs in the inning and Vancena then struck out Drake Johnson on three straight fastballs to end the game.
“I was thinking coming into the seventh to throw strikes,” Vancena said. “If (Otsego) put it in play, that’s great, our defense will make plays. I just planned on throwing strikes and letting the defense do their work.”
“We just came up a little short,” Otsego head coach Aaron Myers said. “We’ve been battling through the whole tournament like that. Today ... we made a few mistakes and those mistakes might have cost us a little bit.
“But we were right there with a chance to win, and we can’t ask the kids anymore than to stay in the game, and they did,” he added.
Otsego finishes its season 14-13 overall.
After Otsego took its early 1-0 lead in the second inning, Lake answered with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning.
A single by Corey Hotmer to start the inning was followed by a strikeout, then back-to-back singles from Jake Materni and Thomas Nichols to load the bases for the Flyers.
Cody Witt came up swinging on the first pitch and hit a chopper to the shortstop who tossed to second, which would have been the start of a possible double play, but the second baseman couldn’t handle the throw, allowing Hotmer to score, and no outs were recorded.
Anthony Pratt drew a five-pitch walk, scoring Materni and then leadoff batter Josh Tantari reached on an error, scoring Witt.
The elongated second inning was finally wrapped up when Casey Conine hit into a 1-6-4-3 double play, but the damage had been done.
Lake’s first three hitters went a combined 0-for-9 in the game, but the final four hitters in the lineup accounted for five of the Flyers’ seven hits.
“It’s been that way all year,” Wilker said. “We have different heroes every game. That’s just the way it fell today.”
Otsego and Lake countered each other with one run a piece in the third inning, but the Knights cut the lead to 4-3 in the fourth, ending Materni’s day on the mound after four innings.
The senior pitcher limited damage in the second, third and four innings, where he stranded a total of five Knight base runners.
Materni, who was credited with the win allowed just five hits and all three runs were earned, while he struck out two and walked three.
“He’s going to battle,” Wilker said of Materni. “He’s not going to over-power you, but he usually has a pretty good curveball and good control. Today his control wasn’t as sharp ... I think the heat got to him.”
Lake turned to Vancena and he cruised through the fifth and sixth innings before working his way out of the seventh-inning jam.
Vancena struck out five Otsego hitters in his four innings of work, while allowing three hits, one walk and an earned run.
The Flyers got a huge insurance run from Hotmer, who drilled a hanging 2-0 curveball over the left-centerfield wall, giving Lake their 5-3 advantage.
Hotmer finished 2-for-3 along with Materni and Nichols.
Otsego compiled eight hits throughout the game, but were never able to get the key hit it needed in order to overtake Lake’s lead through the heart of the game.
Austin and Hackworth were each 2-for-4 and Dustin Peper, Cody Downs, Donald and Johnson each added hits for the Knights.
“I think we hit the ball hard, but we hit it right at (Lake),” Myers said. “Baseball is like that sometimes. Sometimes you find the gaps and sometimes you don’t. Tonight, unfortunately we didn’t find the gaps.”
LAKE 5, OTSEGO 4
OTSEGO 011 100 1—4 8 3
LAKE 031 010 X—5 7 1
HITS — (O) Austin 2, Hackworth 2, Peper, Downs, Donald, Johnson ; (L) Hotmer 2, Materni 2, Nichols 2, An. Pratt. 2B — (O) Hackworth, Donald; (L) An. Pratt. HR — (L) Hotmer. RUNS — (O) Austin 2, Downs, D. Vollmar; (L) Hotmer 2, Vancena, Materni, Witt. RBI — (O) Johnson, Downs, Peper, Donald; (L) Witt, An. Pratt, Tantari, Nichols, Hotmer. SAC FLY — (O) Donald. DP — (O) 1; (L) 1 . LOB — Otsego 8, Lake 4.
IP H R ER BB SO
Hackworth (LP) 6 7 5 5 2 3
Materni (WP) 4 5 3 3 3 2
Vancena 3 3 1 1 1 5
|Last Updated on Sunday, 20 May 2012 08:00|
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