Hornets play tonight in 1A state title contest
HE SCORES n Hamilton's John Ross McCartney scores as Lake catcher Brandon Burrus defends Monday. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Mark Beason/Special to The Star
May 15, 2001
LAKE n Saturday the rain fell, with Hamilton and Lake were unable play Game 2 of the Class 1A state championship.
On Monday, Hamilton rained on Lake's parade, beating the Hornets 12-0. The Lions won Game 2 to set up a winner-take-all Game 3 at 7 p.m. today at Hamilton.
Lake won Game 1 by a 7-3 score at Hamilton and had a chance to win the state title on its home field. Hamilton, playing in its sixth straight state championship, can win its third state title at home.
In Game 1, the Lions were plagued with untimely hitting and key errors. Hamilton corrected its mistakes, able to work around three errors and got the big hit when it needed it.
Hamilton starting pitcher Lance Reed (5-0) had a dominating performance. He went the distance, pitching a shutout while striking out 11. At the start of the season, t senior right-hander was coming off Tommy John surgery, but has bounced back to top form. He also got it done at the plate Monday, getting a clutch double in the pivotal third inning.
Lake starting pitcher Craig Martin had five strikeouts in the first two innings, but ran into trouble into the third. The Lions broke the game open in the frame, scoring six runs on three hits.
Jeff Schaffer had the big blow, a two-run home run that put the Lions up 5-0. Reed drove home the first runs of the game, slapping a bases-loaded double down the right-field line.
In a loss Thursday night, the Lions weren't able to come up with the clutch hit and it proved to be the difference in Game 2.
The Lions got a little help from the Hornets, as they had a big error in the third to keep Hamilton's inning alive. With a runner on first, Martin made a wide throw to second on a comebacker, preventing the Hornets from turning an inning-ending double play.
After scoring just three runs in Game 1, Hamilton's offense pounded out 12 runs on 11 hits.
Leading 6-0 in the sixth, the Lions put the game out of reach, scoring six runs in the last two innings. "You can't sit on a lead," Earnest said. "We were able to add to our lead and that was big."