Little offense, lots of fog lead to loss against Booker
The Lakewood Spartans baseball team played the Booker Tornadoes on Tuesday night at Lake Vista Park in a District 5A matchup, losing 5-1.
Entering the third inning, starting pitcher Aiden O'Dowd, a freshman, looked to keep the score tied 0-0. The Tornadoes' offense and a foggy night had different plans, as well as a couple errors by the Spartans' defense.
With runners on second and third for the Tornadoes, a sacrifice fly ran in the first run of the game for the Tornadoes in the top of the third.
The next batter was hit by the pitch, making for runners on first and third. A single by the next batter would drive in a second run for the Tornadoes, but an error, later, on the same play, the ball ending up behind the Spartans first baseman, lead the HPB runner to score all the way from first to home, a 3-0 game now, in the top of the third inning.
The Tornadoes would score again the next inning.
With a runner on second base, a Tornadoes batter popped up a ball to shallow outfield, a catchable popup for second baseman senior Vinny Grybauskas, if he had been able to see it.
Grybauskas and the outfield, however, lost sight of the ball, leading to runners on second and third for the Tornadoes in the top of the fourth. This would lead to the next batter popping the pitch up at his at-bat but with the fog, shortstop and third baseman Bo Bichette and Jaime Robles, both seniors, couldn't find the ball, leading to a run scored for the Tornadoes, a 4-0 game now.
"I couldn't see the ball. I just put my glove in front of my face. Everyone thought I had it. It ended up 30 feet behind me," Grybauskas said.
Coach Jayce Ganchou then consulted with the umpires and an estimated 20-minute delay occurred in the top of the fourth inning, due to the fog.
"Too many kids were throwing their hands up. It was a safety issue," Ganchou said.
The Spartans closed out the top of the fourth when the game resumed. First batter of the bottom half of the inning, Bichette, smacked a solo home run to left center field, the Spartans only run of the night and one of only three hits of the night, to make the game 4-1.
The Tornadoes scored one more run in the top of the fifth when Robles couldn't come up with a groundball, another error from the Spartans that led to the runner on third base scoring.
The 5-1 score from the fifth inning remained for the final score, making Lakewood's record 8-6.
"It was a big district game," Ganchou said.
With the regular season ending soon, there are only a couple district games left for both teams. Booker and Lakewood will be competing the rest of the season for a first place finish in their district.
As for pitching, O'Dowd pitched six innings, a 101 pitches total, with freshman Anthony Hudson coming in for relief in the top of the seventh.
"I felt really good. I felt like I threw well, just didn't execute a couple pitches. Couldn't keep my pitches down and they made contact all night," O'Dowd said.
The Spartans offense popped up and grounded out for most of the game, the Tornadoes offense not affected by the fog, making the fundamental catches they needed to make to come away with a road win against district rival, Lakewood.
The Spartans only came away with three hits, two from Bichette and one from Grybauskas.
"Fog did not cost us the game. Two runs came from the fog, but that didn't matter. The kid from Booker threw a great game. We had no offense," Ganchou said.