Lake Hornets complete sweep of St. Aloysius
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
May 6, 2001
LAKE It's a case of deja vu all over again, or at least the Lake Hornets hope so, when the Class 1A state championship baseball series begins Thursday at Hamilton.
The Hornets defeated Hamilton for the 2000 1A state title.
Lake completed its 1A South State championship series sweep of St. Aloysius with a 5-4 win in nine innings Saturday night.
Hamilton swept Myrtle by taking an 8-3 win Saturday.
Lake was coasting with a 4-0 lead through six innings and Craig Martin not only had a no-hitter, he hadn't allowed a ball to leave the infield.
Then the Flashes temporarily solved Martin, racking up four runs on five hits in the top of the seventh with even the three outs coming on hard-hit balls.
Aaron George led off with a triple to left field and Ryan Hearn cut Lake's lead to 4-2 with a two-run homer to left field. After two outs, the Flashes got a double, then an RBI-single by Chris Bass to close to within one. An RBI-single by Clay Simmons knotted the game at 4-4.
Both teams stranded a runner at third base in the eighth inning.
Martin set the Flashes down in order in the top of the ninth, getting a pair of strikeouts.
Hearn retired the first two Hornets in the bottom of the ninth, but fumbled Eric Gunn's swinging bunt and then came up short when he tried to outrun Gunn to first base.
Following a wild pitch, Hearn walked Lee Dooley, bringing up leadoff batter Jason McGee who had struck out in each of his previous four at-bats.
There would be no golden sombrero for McGee as his single to right-center chased home Gunn with the game-winning run.
Lake scored twice in the second inning as Martin beat out an infield hit and Brandon Burrus was hit by a pitch to get the rally under way. Eric Watkins drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to left field and the second scored on a high chopper off the plate by Gunn.
The Hornets picked up two more runs the next inning. Jason Massey ripped a two-out solo homer.
The second run was unearned as Jake Nester walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, and crossed the plate when Martin's grounder to shortstop was booted.
Martin (11-1) got the win, striking out eight and walking only one. He allowed six hits.
Hearn (10-2) was the tough-luck loser, striking out 14, while walking four and giving up only four hits in 8 2/3 innings.
Neither team had a batter with more than one hit.
Funeral services for Graves' mother are slated for today.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.