St. Aloysius beats Lake, falls to Enterprise-Clarke|[03/11/08]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 11, 2008

LAKE — For a while Monday, the St. Aloysius Flashes seemed determined to see how many leads they could waste. Finally, they decided it’d be a lot more fun to keep one.

St. Al overcame six errors and two blown leads early on, then averted a two-out meltdown in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Lake 9-7 Monday night in the Lake Spring Break Tournament. The Flashes saw leads of 1-0 in the first inning and 3-1 in the second go by the wayside before scoring four runs in the third to take the lead for good.

Earlier in the day, St. Al let a 9-0 lead get away and lost to Enterprise-Clarke, 14-10, in its tournament opener.

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“It was just important to come back and fight hard. It’s a pride thing. We work too hard to lay down for people, and we’d been doing that a lot lately,” St. Al coach Clint Wilkerson said. “We hadn’t had that tenacity lately, and that was us fighting hard. I’m proud of the guys.”

Brendan Beesley went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and three RBIs for St. Al (6-2), while Stephen Evans drove in two runs and turned in a solid pitching performance. Evans allowed one earned run, one walk and struck out five in 5 2/3 innings. Ryno Martin-Nez finished up for his first save of the season.

For Lake (9-2), Sam Wooten had an RBI double and Dwayne Gammage was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. The Hornets were undone, however, by a shaky pitching effort that allowed 10 walks and hit two batters. Six of those 12 free passes were turned into runs by the Flashes.

“Thirteen walks. Thirteen walks will beat you any day. I don’t care if you play a T-ball team, that’ll beat you,” Lake coach Brian Goodman said.

St. Al and Lake went back-and-forth through the first 2 1/2 innings, trading the lead as if it were a tennis match. Each team scored a run in the first, St. Al went up 3-1 in the second on RBI singles by Beesley and Evans, and Lake regained the lead at 6-3 with the help of four Flashes errors in the bottom of the second.

The Flashes used three straight walks, a two-run single by Beesley, a sacrifice fly by Pierson Waring, and an RBI single by Ryno Martin-Nez to score four runs in the third and take a 7-6 lead. They then held serve in the bottom of the inning and Evans went to work. He allowed no runs and three hits over the next 3 2/3 innings to finally slow down the Hornets. Evans left after allowing a two-out double to Dwayne Gammage in the sixth.

“We got a couple timely hits, scored a couple runs, and got out of a couple jams and the momentum shifted to us,” Wilkerson said.

Martin-Nez relieved Evans, got out of the sixth inning without any trouble, and seemed headed for an easy save after retiring the first two batters in the seventh. On this night, though, nothing was easy.

David Murray hit a sharp two-out grounder to third. Evans fielded it cleanly, but made a wild throw to first to allow Murray to reach. The next batter hit a comebacker that caromed off Martin-Nez’s foot for an infield single, and Blake Luke followed with another ground ball that turned into a St. Al throwing error. The miscue brought in a run, cutting St. Al’s lead to 9-7, and put the winning run at the plate.

Martin-Nez got No. 9 hitter Jordan Gunn to strike out looking, though, and another epic meltdown was averted.

“The end scared the crap out of me, but the back-and-forth was fun,” said St. Al catcher Sean Weaver, who had an RBI single in the fifth inning. ”

Ent.-Clarke 14, St. Al 10

St. Al jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the top of the first, but let it slip away and took a tough loss to Enterprise-Clarke in the opening game of the Lake Spring Break Tournament. Colby Pritchett homered, Tyler Cooper had two doubles and Steven Cothern had three hits to lead the Enterprise comeback.

Martin-Nez went 2-for-4 with a double for St. Al, which scored only one run after its fast start and couldn’t take advantage of 10 walks and two hit batsmen.