Strike zone trouble takes down Vikings in semifinalsPublished 5:22pm Sunday, June 3, 2012
STEVENSVILLE — It all came down to throwing strikes.
Defending Division 2 baseball champion Niles had trouble locating the strike zone against host Lakeshore Saturday in the district semifinals.
The Lancers were able to take advantage of that and defeated the Vikings 10-7.
Niles (18-14-1) grabbed a 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Taylor Campbell in the opening inning.
Lakeshore (21-15) scored six times in the bottom of the second to take the lead, but gave up five runs to the Vikings in the top of the third to tie the game at 6-6.
Niles would not score again until the seventh inning, while the Lancers scored the go-ahead run in the fifth and two insurance runs in the sixth.
Mitchell Dehn took the loss for the Vikings, who also had Tate Brawley and Campbell take the hill during the contest.
“For the most part our pitchers this year threw ahead of people and today we were behind and we got ourselves in trouble,” Niles coach Mike Vota said. “Hey, today they (Lakeshore) were better than us. That’s part of the game.”
Vota added that he was proud of the way his squad kept battling back.
“They have a lot of grit,” he said. “They’ve shown that this year. This group of seniors is a special group. They were special last year and they were special in basketball. They battled. They don’t know how to lose. They just keep going at it.
“Today we just dug ourselves too big a hole.”
St. Joseph defeated Berrien Springs 6-3 in the first semifinal and then knocked off archrival Lakeshore 10-5 in the championship game.
Division 2 District semifinals
Niles 105 000 1 – 7 9 2
Lakeshore 060 012 x – 9 11 3
Mitchell Dehn (L, 5-2), Tate Brawley (6), Taylor Campbell (6); Josh Foster, Jeff Narregan (4, W, 3-5).
2B: Chris Mangus (N), Ryan Avery (L) 2
HR: Taylor Campbell (N)
Lakeshore 21-15, Niles 18-14-1
Tags: Niles baseball