Lakeland rallied to upend West Noble, 5-4 in eight innings Tuesday night in an NECC baseball thriller played at Charger Field.
Trailing 4-1 after three innings, the Lakers scored a run in the fourth and two more in the sixth to knot the count at 4-all. Alex Pearson’s two-out infield single plated the tying marker.
West Noble had a golden chance to end the game in its half of the seventh after its first two batters of the frame reached base. However, Lakeland third baseman Hunter Sams made a brilliant stop of a hard-hit grounder off the bat of Waylon Richardson and turned it into a rally-killing double play.
In the top of the eighth, Dylan Pranger reached second base when his grounder was misplayed by Richardson. Pranger advanced to third on a single by Jackson Evans and scored the go-ahead run on a groundout.
Pranger, who relieved Sams as the Laker pitcher in the second inning, retired the Chargers in order in the bottom of the eighth to nail down the win. The sophomore hurler gave up four hits, walked one and struckout eight in seven frames.
Sams, Pearson and Dalton Schmidt all finished with two hits for the Lakers, now 1-4 in the NECC and 2-11-1 overall. Kyle Casper whacked a double and William Kelly lined an RBI single.
Pancho Luevano’s two-run homer in the first highlighted the West Noble attack. Riley McFarren doubled and poked an RBI single. Kyler Warble also plated a run with a single.