Leesburg, Fla. – The Lake-Sumter State College baseball program opened up their season on Friday with a crazy 14 inning affair before a double header on Saturday.
Getting started on the road is never easy. Taking on the No. 12 team in the country is tough. Trading runs and going back and forth for 14 consecutive innings is just crazy talk. That is exactly how the 2018 season began for the Lakehawks.
After a quiet first two innings, the scoring began with two runs from LSSC, followed by one in the bottom half of the inning from Polk. The teams exchanged runs throughout the contest until the Eagles went up 6-3 heading into the top of the ninth.
With their backs against the wall, the Lakehawks rallied to score three runs and tied the ball game up. Down to their final out and trailing by one, Alan Alonso scored the game tying run off a single from Tanner Clark. Clark fought off a 12 pitch at-bat to shoot a laser in to right field and knot the game at 6-6.
From the 10th inning on, the game turned into an unexpected pitcher's duel. Neither team was able to scrape a run across, until the bottom of the 14th inning. After five hours and eight minutes, PSC walked-off with a game winning single and took the game, 7-6.
Lake-Sumter took on Northwest Florida State in double header action on Saturday. The Lakehawks showed no signs of exhaustion from the extra inning marathon the night before. After going down 4-0 in the first, the bats broke out for Lake-Sumter scoring seven runs over the next two innings.
Pitching was able to take control of the game allowing just three runs after the initial four run inning by NWF. LSSC added two more runs in the sixth and walked away with a 9-7 win. Nick Labrada earned the win throwing 3 2/3 innings while striking out four. Robbie Scott led the way for hitters going 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Seth Martin added two hits of his own, one being a three run home run, his first of the season. Martin finished with four RBIs.
Game two of the double header was another offensive slugfest. The teams combined for 12 hits and 14 runs over a shortened six inning ball game.
A two run first inning for Lake-Sumter was a great start, but the team could not get another run in until the fifth. Northwest Florida rallied for eight runs between the third, fourth and fifth innings. The Raiders had an 8-6 lead after five.
The umpires met with the coaches before the sixth inning and explained this would be the last due to darkness. The Lakehawks were unable to complete the comeback and fell, 8-6 (6 innings).
Scott added two more hits while Teegarden walked twice and had a stolen base.
"I was really proud of the way our guys competed and battled through adversity against two really tough teams," said Head Coach, Rich Billings. "I thought we did a lot of little things well, but at the same time there is still a lot we need to improve on. I'm looking forward to seeing how this team shows up to the field next week against another couple of top 10 teams from Region 8"
Lake-Sumter will host Warner JV Tuesday, with the game scheduled to start at 3 pm. They will get back to in-region competition Wednesday against South Florida State on the road for a 5 pm first pitch start.