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Lakeview falls to Pinecrest, 6-5, in Region 8-A opener

POSTED: March 10, 2014 11:59 p.m.
Jared Putnam/The Times

Lakeview Academy's Dakota Chalmers delivers a pitch as a Pinecrest Academy baserunner takes off from first on Monday in Gainesville.

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Lakeview Academy coach Deuce Roark said it best: Defensive mistakes and stranded baserunners are never a good mix on the baseball field.

That’s especially true when a team experiences both in large numbers.

The Lions could only anguish over missed opportunities in their Region 8-A opener on Monday, after they committed five errors and stranded 15 baserunners in a 6-5 loss to Pinecrest Academy in Gainesville.

“Our defense was our nemesis today,” Roark said.
“In one-run ball games your defense is the difference, and then we just left a lot of people on base. Those two don’t combine real well for an outcome of a game.”

Junior right-hander Dakota Chalmers gave the Lions (1-4, 0-1 Region 8-A) a solid starting pitching performance, allowing four hits, four walks and a hit batter while striking out 11 in six innings of work.

The Paladins (5-4, 3-4), however, tagged Chalmers for all six of their runs — four with two outs — with the help of the Lions’ defensive mistakes. Lakeview allowed a pair of runs on pitches that skipped to the backstop.

“He fought through a lot of adversity as a pitcher which can really cause some guys to lose focus, but he didn’t,” Roark said of Chalmers. “He continually wanted the ball when his pitch count got a little higher. I trust him to tell me how he feels and I let him go.”

Lakeview led 3-2 going into the fourth inning and tied the game 4-4 in the bottom of the frame after Pinecrest took the lead in the top half.

The Paladins struck the deciding blow in the top of the sixth when Anthony Carco lined a two-out, two-run triple to center field.

The Lions got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI groundout by Christopher Ball, but stranded the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the seventh.

Lakeview stranded two or more runners on base in each inning.

Alex Martin went 2 for 4 with an RBI for Lakeview. Teammate David Fadool finished the day 2 for 5 and drove in a run, while Avery Smith also had two hits. The Lions finished with nine hits.

“They’re kind of young in (terms of) experience,” Roark said of his players. “We’ve got a lot of guys who are consistently starting who may have spot-started last year, but now they’re starting every day.

“There’s a grind to learning how to play every day and bring your best game every day.”

Pinecrest Academy used four pitchers on the day. While no one turned in a dominant performance for the Paladins on the mound, Pinecrest coach Daniel Stockdale was pleased with the way his relievers responded to being called upon early in the game.

“(Starting pitcher) Todd Mahaffey is our ace,” Stockdale said. “Today he just had a little funk ... but he’s our ace and we’ll go back to him.

“Connor Ettmueller came in and kept the game close, and we were able to rely on our senior arms in Anthony Carco and Garrett Kliphouse to bring us on home.”

The Lions host Lumpkin County at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, while Pinecrest is on the road against M.L. King at 5:30 p.m.


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