The Small Town Baseball World Series continued Sunday, where two Lakeland teams looked to finish on a high note.
The Lakeland 10U team played Hayward in the seventh-place game. Hayward won 15-7 in five innings.
The Lakeland 14U team played Independence/Gilmanton in the semifinals of their tournament, winning 5-1. They then played Eagle River in the Championship game, losing 4-3 off a two-run walk off hit by Devin Kevilus.
Lakeland used pitching to win their first game against Independence/Gilmanton. Will Fortier went four innings and Zach Seehafer went two innings, giving up just one run.
Offensively, all five runs were scored in the first inning. Two of those runs came via RBIs by Tyler Marquardt and Logan Strasburg. Garrett Tobias led the team with two hits.
Lakeland was three outs away from winning the championship later in the day against Eagle River. With one runner on base and one out, there was a line drive caught by Seehafer, but he could not double up the runner on first. There were two outs.
A walk and a couple of stolen bases put runners on second and third. That was when Kevilus hit a ball that squeaked through the middle of the field and into shallow center. Both runners came in to score and Eagle River won 4-3.
Trailing 1-0 after two innings, Fortier came in to pitch. He gave up one run in the third, making the score 2-0.
The fourth was where Lakeland took off. Max Nowak walked to start the inning. Then Seehafer reached on an error. With runners on, Wiczek hit an RBI fielder’s choice scoring a run. Then Fortier did the same thing.
Marquardt hit a sacrifice fly and all of a sudden Lakeland had a 3-2 lead.
Fortier was still on the mound in the bottom of the fourth. Two walks put two runners on with two outs, but Fortier got through without any runs scoring.
Tobias singled in the top of the fifth, but Strasburg lined out for a double play. No runs were scored.
The highlight of the bottom half was Wiczek making a diving catch in centerfield, taking away a hit for Eagle River. Lakeland still had a 3-2 lead.
In the seventh-place game against Hayward, both teams had something similar happen to them in the first inning. They both had runners try to take home on a wild pitch but got tagged out. The game was scoreless to start.
In the top of the second, Lincoln Freidley walked, stole second, stole third and then scored on a wild pitch to take a 1-0 lead.
Hayward answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 2-1 lead. But the damage was limited thanks to Lakeland pitcher Rowan Wiczek.
In the top of the third the bases were loaded thanks to a walk by Tucker Moon, a single by Ian Dwyer and another walk by Wiczek. With the bases loaded, Caden Schillinger plated one with an RBI groundout.
Then Freidley came up and hit a 2-run single to take a 4-2 lead. Brayden Meade then reached on an error and a run scored. Lakeland had a 5-2 lead.
Now it was Hayward’s turn. The inning started with four straight walks that ended up scoring two runs. Later in the inning, there was back-to-back hits that scored runs. When the inning ended, Hayward had a 10-5 lead.
Lakeland needed some sort of response and got that when Zac Amershek scored on a wild pitch. The score was 10-6 in favor of Hayward.
Hayward continued to score runs in the bottom of the fourth. They plated three and now led 13-6.
A two-out rally started the fifth. Freidley struck out but reached third on a couple of errors. He later scored on a wild pitch to make it 13-7. Meade followed that up with a single, but the inning ended with a strikeout.
Walks got out of hand in the bottom of the fifth. Five walked caused two runs to score and the game to be over. An eight run lead in the fifth forced the game to end. Hayward won 15-7 and took seventh place for 10U.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]