“A game like that leaves you looking for your blood pressure medicine,” Lakeview Academy coach Deuce Roark said after his team’s 8-6 win against Commerce on Friday.
As the quote indicates, it wasn’t always pretty for the Lions (8-2, 4-0 Region 8-A): they committed four errors, left more than their fair share of runners on base and nearly let a two-run lead slip away in the seventh inning. Still, Lakeview got enough clutch hitting, including an early three-run double from Tyler Young (2-for-3, four RBIs) to earn the win in Gainesville.
“We had some kids that came up clutch for us tonight,” Roark said. “Tyler Young certainly had some huge hits for us.”
In a game with some quirky twists and turns, the turn of events in the seventh inning certainly fit the bill and helped the Lions solidify the victory.
Leading 8-6 in the seventh and with two Tigers runners in scoring position, Commerce’s hitter grounded out to shortstop Ralston Cash, who fired to first for one out, and Lakeview’s first baseman fired the ball home and threw the lead runner out at the plate.
With the play at the plate, the runner from second went on to third and was nearly called out for a triple play to end the game.
“Our kids played hard tonight and really felt like we had a chance to win,” Commerce coach Steve Cotrell said. “We just had a bone-headed play at the end that cost us.”
Still, the Tigers made it close at the end, as Josh Streetman (3-for-3, RBI) started the inning with a double, which was followed by Greg Hayes reaching base on an error and both advancing on a pass ball — setting up the eventual near triple play.
Streetman also added a lead-off triple in the second inning and an RBI single in the fourth. Colton Davis added a pair of RBI doubles for the Tigers (2-7, 2-1).
“I feel real comfortable with the way we swing the bat from No. 1-8 in the order,” Cotrell said. “We certainly hit the ball well enough to win.”
The Lions scored three runs in the third and fifth inning to give the win to Cash.
At the plate, Cash (2-for-2, two walks) started off the third with a double on a high fly ball just beyond third base that blew back and landed in fair territory. After a one-out walk from Logan Jones, Nick Drury was hit in the helmet with a pitch to load the bases.
Young followed with his bases-clearing double to the outfield.
In the fifth, Young and Dalton Munday (2-for-3, two walks) both singled with two outs, and Taylor Simpson scored on a balk.
Ross Biegler (2-for-4) added an RBI double for the Lions. In the sixth, Drury connected on a sacrifice fly to score Simpson.
Commerce visits Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy at 11 a.m. today in Stockbridge. Lakeview Academy visits Mount Pisgah at 4 p.m. Monday in Alpharetta.