LAMOILLE — A first inning offensive outburst by the LaMoille/Ohio Lions baseball team set the tone and pace of Thursday evening’s 13-4 victory over the Earlville/Leland Raiders in LaMoille.
The first four L/O batters crossed the plate as part of six-run first inning which got the Lions rolling offensively and defensively for the remainder of the game.
The inning saw five L/O hits including three doubles, one each by second baseman Adam Schweicket, starting pitcher Preston Powers and first baseman Chase Billhorn.
Powers took advantage of the early run support settling in and striking out five batters as he hit his spots and forced the E/L batters into putting lazy fly balls into play for easy outs.
L/O coach Chuck Lovgren said scoring early made huge difference.
“We played relaxed and that translated to few errors,” he said. “You know, we made them earn their runs, and our boys are starting to hit the ball. I knew we would get there and start hitting the ball, today we started hitting a lot of line drives, some were right at fielders but we made good contact.”
L/O took advantage of multiple fielding and throwing errors on the part of the Raiders as Lion base runners forced unnecessary throws by the E/L defense.
The Lions’ ability to put the ball in play and get the fielders to throw the ball around allowed L/O base runners to easily advance into scoring position and eventually cross the plate.
LaMoille had another big inning in the third which was topped off by a two-run RBI single by Anthony Lovgren which found outfield grass and plated both Powers and right fielder Jake Lucas. The single put the Lions on top 11-2.
L/O added insurance runs in each inning during the contest except the fourth.
After the victory, coach Lovgren reiterated the importance of improvement and the need to stay mentally prepared while playing as he always sees room for improvement in any baseball club.
“I still am a big believer in defense and fundamentals so we can always work on that,” he said. “We had some mistakes, we also had some base running blunders where signs were missed and runners didn’t move up like we should have. We’ve got a few tweaks in signs that we can make and paying attention but everything can always be worked on, and we can always improve.”
Coach Lovgren always looks forward to the next game but has a philosophy that you play for today and you must win that contest before concentrating on the next. For that reason, he brought senior Garrett Anderson in to pitch the seventh to close out the win.
“I was just tickled with our pitchers. That young man (Powers) had a sore arm leading up to today’s game but he felt good enough to go so we pitched him and we brought in our guy for relief (Garrett Anderson), and he was going to start tomorrow’s game but I am a firm believer in getting the win for the game you’re playing so we brought him into to close out the game,” Lovgren said.
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