Lakeview Academy’s Andrew Estes hinted at a good night with a leadoff single in the first inning. Then he took to the mound and was brilliant against West Hall on Wednesday in Oakwood.
The Lions’ starter struck out 10 batters over six innings, while going 2-for-4 hitting with a run scored in a 12-1 win.
“Andrew’s pitching set the tone for everything we did tonight,” Lakeview Academy coach Deuce Roark said. “It was Andrew on the mound. He leads off for us, so he kind of sets the tone offensively. He set the tone defensively as a pitcher tonight. It’s very nice to have Andrew on your team.”
Jordan Thomas added three RBIs, going 3-for-4 on the day, and Ian Echols chipped in a two-RBI single for the Lions, who are now 6-1.
Estes scored in the top of the first off a single to shallow center field from Sam Stewart to give the Lions their first lead of the night. West Hall’s Gabe Allison evened things up in the bottom of the first when he drove in Canaan Koger with a ground ball that went through the right side of the infield.
However, West Hall’s momentum was short lived.
Estes’ single in the second frame brought home Holden Cooper to put the Lions back on top for good.
“After the first inning, letting one up, my teammates really picked me back up,” Estes said. “Momentum was going our way.”
Both teams left runners stranded at third in the third inning, but Lakeview Academy started to break the game open in the fourth.
Conley Millwood got things going when he scored on a wild pitch. Skyler Thellman walked to load the bases a few batters later before Echols got to the plate for the second time in the game. He lined the first pitch he saw over second base to bring home two as the Lions started to pull away.
“As we got a little energy, a few good plays on defense, I think it really opened up a few innings,” Estes said. “Once we got going, it was just like everyone wanted a hit. Everyone wanted to be that guy.”
Estes struck out three straight in the bottom of the fifth inning before the Lions’ offense got back to work.
Thomas drove in two with a double to center, and Cooper scored another with a single two batters later.
Both came home off of wild pitches later in the frame, as Lakeview Academy ran away with the easy road victory.
“We took a lot of pitches in the beginning that we probably shouldn’t have,” Roark said. “But as we went along, we got a little more aggressive earlier (in the count). We took advantage of some fastballs. I think that made the difference for us.”