Flashes defeat defending state champ Lake

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 23, 2001

Clay Simmons, St. Aloysius’ shortstop, tags out Lake’s Brandon Burrus Thursday at Bazinsky Field. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[03/23/01] St. Aloysius got plenty of timely hitting and a solid pitching performance from Ryan Hearn to beat Lake on Thursday and move into first place in Division 6-1A.

Charlie Amborn went 2-for-3 with two singles, a sacrifice fly and two RBIs, Aaron George had a clutch two-run single and Hearn and Blake Warnock each had RBI singles to lead St. Al (8-1, 5-0 in division) to the 6-3 win.

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Hearn struck out seven and allowed seven hits and one earned run to get the complete-game win against the defending Class 1A state champions.

“Ryan wasn’t at his best. He didn’t have a lot of zip on his fastball and his curve wasn’t all that sharp. But he did well enough to win,” St. Al coach Joe Graves said.

Jake Nester went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and two RBIs, and Jason Masey went 2-for-4 with two singles to lead Lake (10-4, 3-1).

“We got hits when we needed to, ran ourselves into runs, and didn’t make many mistakes,” Graves said.

Lake made several mistakes early in the game that allowed the Flashes to build a 3-0 lead.

Warnock reached on a misplayed fly ball in the bottom of the first, then scored on Amborn’s RBI single to make it 1-0. In the third inning, Warnock drove in a run with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a deep fly ball to center by Amborn.

Lake then elected to intentionally walk George to pitch to Hearn. The move backfired when Hearn drove a single down the left-field line to score Warnock and make it 3-0.

“We got some easy runs because of their mental mistakes,” Graves said.

Lake cut it to 3-1 in the top of the fourth, but the Flashes responded with more timely hitting and three runs in the bottom of the inning.

St. Al loaded the bases with one out, and Amborn drove a ball to the warning track in center field, deep enough to score Alex Frisbee. George followed with a two-run, two-out single to make it 6-1.

Nester’s two-run single in the fifth cut it to 6-3, but Nester was thrown out on a stolen base attempt and Lake couldn’t get any closer. The Hornets had a runner on in each of the last two innings, but didn’t get either one past first base. Hearn allowed only one ball out of the infield in the last two innings.

“We didn’t get the breaks we needed, and this was a game that we needed them,” said Lake coach Brian Goodman, who was restricted to the dugout after arguing the call on Nester’s steal attempt. “They got eight hits, we got seven. We just never got that big hit.”