Lakers rally late, but lose baseball opener 5-4 to Wells

WELLS — Laker Coach Randy Heath knew his club could struggle in the season opener last Friday at Wells.

“It’s hard to go from the gym to a season game,” Lake Region’s varsity baseball coach said after his team dropped a 5-4 loss to the Warriors. “I’m very proud of the team. There were so many positives.”

Certainly, one positive was how the Lakers rallied from a 5-1 deficit with a three-run seventh inning before Wells closed the door as a reliever induced an infield fly ball for the final out with runners at first and second.

“I loved how this group fought and didn’t give up — that’s all you can ask for as a coach,” Heath said. “The few mistakes we made were all part of the game. I’m looking forward to see how this group grows as a team.”

Starter Nate Smith pitched four innings, allowing just one hit while striking out three. Wells touched him up for an unearned run in the third inning.

LR’s middle relievers struggled with their command of the strike zone as Wells plated two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth inning. Shawn Hansen walked the first three batters he faced followed by a sharp single, scoring two runs. Charlie McDonough faced four batters, allowing a hit and a run. Sam Cross closed out the game, letting up a run.

Offensively, the Lakers out hit Wells 8-7, but some overly aggressive base running stalled some chances with runners in scoring position. Each team committed two errors.

“I like being aggressive, but we need to know when to be and not to be. That will com,” Coach Heath said.

Adam Butler led the LR attack with a 3-for-4 day, while Gunnar Harriman, Nate Smith and Damon Knight each went 2-for-4.

Next: The Lakers (0-1) travel to Gray-New Gloucester Monday to meet the Patriots at 4 p.m., and then host Greely Wednesday at 4 p.m.

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