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Lions outlast Eagles
Lakeview Academy catcher Nick Drury chases a wild pitch during the game against Riverside Military Academy Monday. - photo by Tom Reed
GAINESVILLE — A win’s a win, at least that’s how the saying goes.

For Lakeview, however, Monday’s 15-13 victory against Riverside Military Academy left a bad taste in coach Deuce Roark’s mouth.

Lakeview’s baseball field doesn’t have lights, and with darkness looming and the Lions (4-2) up 15-13 after a Taylor Simpson three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, the umpires made the decision to try and play a sixth inning.

Riverside (2-3) got in its half of the sixth — one which resulted in the Eagles scoring three runs to take a one-run lead — before the game was called on account of darkness.

As a result of Lakeview’s inability to play its home half of the inning, the game technically ended in the fifth, with the Lions ahead on the scoreboard.

“Unfortunately, yes, we won,” Roark said. “Thank God it’s over. It felt like a typical Monday workday. This game was a lot of work.”

For Riverside coach Shay Bailey, his team not winning in the record books mattered little when compared to the team’s overall performance.

“I’m very happy at how we never gave up,” Bailey said. “When they’d go up, we came back every single time in the next inning.

“With our region schedule starting (today), our offensive performace is great for everybody. Hitting’s contagious and hopefully we
have the bug for another couple of days.”

The Eagles finished with 13 runs on 14 hits, including three doubles and a home run.

The back-and-forth battle alluded to by Bailey didn’t take begin in earnest until the bottom of the third.

With Riverside up 6-3 and Lakeview having held the Eagles to what would be the only scoreless half inning of the game in the top of the third, the Lions struck for five runs to take an 8-6 lead.

After Nick Drury reached base on a single, Logan Jones, Taylor Young and Spencer Sorrells hit three straight doubles to tie the game at six.

Young then scored on a fielder’s choice, and Sorrells scored when Ross Biegler reached on an error, givving the Lions a two-run lead.

In the top of the fourth, a two-run John Walker single capped a three-run inning that gave the Eagles a one-run lead.

Walker finished the day 1-for-4 with four RBIs.

Those two half innings were indicative of how the remainder of the game was played, as the teams swapped leads three more times.

Simpson’s three-run homer over the centerfield fence proved to be the game winnner for Lakeview.

Simpson went 3-for-3 on the day with 4 RBIs and a home run.

“That was a big play for us in a big situation,” Roark said. “It’s what we needed and what we look for going into region play.

“A lot of lessons will be learned from today though,” he added. “It’s like we played a bunch of one-run ball games and didn’t do the little things we needed to to win any of them.”

Lakeview scored its 15 runs on 16 hits including seven doubles and Simpson’s home run.

For the Lions, Sorrells finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two doubles and Jones finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two doubles. Jacob Whitenton and Ross Biegler each went 2-for-3 with an RBI while Munday, Ralston Cash and Tyler Young each had one hit for Lakeview and combined for 4 RBIs.

“We hit the ball well,” Roark said. “We’ve been hitting the ball well, but we need a little more of a finisher’s attitude.

“Our play was too passive today.”

Derek Fadool picked up the win for Lakeview while Orlando Lynch was credited with the loss for Riverside.

Offensively, the Eagles were led by Brian Kerekes, who finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Michael Crespo (2-for-4, three RBIs), and Brian Cox (2-for-3 with an RBI).

Lakeview returns to action at 5:55 p.m. Wednesday at Flowery Branch while Riverside plays host to Fannin County at 5 p.m. today in its Region 8-AA opener.
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