Lake rallies to take 6-1A lead
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
March 27, 2002
UNION The Lake Hornets battled back from a 3-0 deficit to claim a 7-3 win and grab the lead in the Division 6-1A baseball race Tuesday night at Laird Park.
Lake improved to 9-10 overall and 6-1 in 6-1A. Union dropped to 10-9 and 4-1. Lake won the 6-1A title a year ago, while Union won the 5-1A league.
The Hornets, who were the Class 1A state champions in 2000 and state runners-up in 2001, lost a shocking 5-0 league contest to Sebastopol Friday night. Apparently it was the wakeup call Lake needed as a Union win would have given the Yellowjackets a two-game lead.
With the game played under wind chill in the upper 30s, the Hornets' offense warmed up as the game went on.
Union took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Jacob Casey and Jordan Robinson beat out infield hits with Casey scoring on a single down the left field line by Zack Robinson. Lake left fielder Mike Boles threw Jordan Robinson out trying to take third base to end the inning.
The Jackets picked up two runs in the third. Jordan Robinson hit a two-out single and went to second on an outfield error. After a walk to Jody Blount, Wes Henry lofted a shallow opposite-field double to left field that plated Robinson with Blount coming home on an error on the play.
Henry (4-3), who tossed three perfect innings with five strikeouts to start the game, gave up two runs in the top of the fourth. Jason McGee drew a leadoff walk and Brandon Burrus followed with a single. A pair of wild pitches cut Union's lead to 3-1 with the Hornets getting another run on Eric Watkins' fielder's choice. Lake was threatening to draw even, but Jordan Robinson's throw from left field cut down Bryan Williamson at the plate to end the inning.
Union loaded the bases with no outs to start the bottom of the fourth but came away empty. Eric Graham was thrown out at the plate while trying to score on a shallow fly ball to right field by catcher Brooks Vance. Watkins then got a strikeout to snuff the threat.
Lake went ahead with two runs in the fifth frame. Heath Street and Boles hit one-out singles. Pinch runner Ryan Sorey scored on a fielder's choice by Burrus with the second run crossing the plate on a wide throw to first by Blount at shortstop.
Lake had runners at second and third with no outs in the sixth but came away empty. A missed squeeze signal resulted in Terrell Ricks being called out for running out of the baseline while being chased by Vance, who then fired to second base to get Kyle Wolfe to complete the play for the third out.
The Hornets tacked on three insurance runs in the top of the seventh to go up 7-3. Graham committed a pair of two-out errors at first base and Watkins added an RBI-single.
Union got two runners aboard with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before Watkins recorded the final out to improve to 5-4.
Union had five errors, while Lake committed four under less than ideal conditions.
Goodman doesn't expect the league race to be settled until Union visits Lake on April 12.