Baseball: Lake City ends season with loss to Lourdes
ROCHESTER — The last few weeks saw the season take a turn for the better, as Lake City ripped off seven wins in 10 games, including three of four playoff games.
On Saturday, the Tigers lapsed into the team that lost six straight prior to that run, falling 6-1 to Rochester Lourdes in a Section 1AA elimination game. The loss ends Lake City’s season, though the chance to continue was alive well into the game.
A 2-1 game in the sixth inning turned in an instant when Eagles center fielder Paul Schroeder blasted an RBI triple to give Lourdes a two-run lead. Schroeder would score on an error one batter later.
The Eagles had nine hits against Lake City starter John Brown, but the Tigers’ five errors led to four unearned runs, leaving Brown little room for error. Brown, a senior, took the seven-inning loss, finishing with four strikeouts and two walks.
“Defense has been a bit of a struggle all year. It really has been,” said Lake City head coach Perry Iberg. “In crucial situations, we had some opportunities and didn’t make the plays. And when (Lourdes) had their opportunities, they did (make plays). That’s baseball.”
Adam Ellingson kept the Tigers at bay when it came to hits as Lake City managed just three for the game. Ellingson did issue four walks, and the Tigers stranded six runners on base, including two each in the first and third innings.
“We didn’t move runners real effectively,” Iberg said. “All in all, (Ellingson) did shut us down pretty well. Give him credit for that.”
In the third inning, Lake City had a great chance to cut into a 2-0 deficit that materialized in the first on two Lourdes hits and a Tiger error. Elliot Cox drew a two-out walk, scoring two batters later when Jarrett Thomas singled. Reid Lundell, who singled between Cox and Thomas, ended the inning standing on third.
Brown, Cox and Lundell all played their final game as a Tiger on Saturday, a trio that usually made up the top third of the lineup, and the middle of the field defensively.
“I think we definitely peaked at the right time,” Lundell said. “You want to be playing your best at the end, and I think we did that. We made a nice run at it. But, it (stinks), it’s over. But, what do you do? It has to end sometime, right?”
Brown and Lundell both went 1-for-2 while Thomas, a sophomore, finished 1-for-3.
Season-ending losses are never easy to take, but for a team that appeared to be a one-and-done candidate a few weeks ago, a run to the final four helps ease the pain.
“We felt we were pretty happy to make it this far,” Iberg said. “We played well last weekend, and I felt it was an accomplishment to make it to this point. Once you get (to the final four), you never know what’s going to happen. A hot bat and a hot arm, things can happen. It wasn’t meant to be today.”