Lakeview gets past Girard, 7-6

GIRARD — It was an old fashioned barnburner when Girard hosted Lakeview on Tuesday, and the Bulldogs came away with a 7-6 victory.

“It was a gritty win for our guys,” Lakeview coach Cam Carson said. “They really battled through some tough situations. They played the game from start to finish. That was one of the few times we’ve done that this year. They weren’t afraid of the moment. We wanted the ball to be hit to us.”

There wasn’t a bigger play than the sliding catch freshman Eli Gough made to end the bottom of the sixth inning after the Indians loaded the bases.

“That was an awesome play,” Carson said. “He wants those plays. He wants those big opportunities. That was just a crucial point in the game. If he doesn’t catch that ball, we probably lose the game. For a freshman to step up and make a huge play like that, I’m just really proud of him.”

Lakeview took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third after a RBI double by senior Andrew Brown. Nathan Paolucci pitched a 1-2-3 bottom half of the inning and the Bulldogs made it 4-1 when Paolucci drove home Isaiah Lantz in the fourth.

However, the Indians tied it up 4-4 their next time up to bat. Kaiden Clare had a lead-off single. Santino Barone and Joe Marsco singled as well before Jaden Royal doubled.

Then, the Bulldogs went back on top 7-4 in the top of the fifth. Brandon Toot tripled after hitting the ball to the fence and 2 runs scored. Matthew Seikel had a sacrifice fly, and Camron Herrick came in to pitch for Girard.

The Indians bounced right back to make it 7-6 in the bottom of the fifth. Girard loaded the bases, and Will Hynes had a RBI, before Hayden Newton pitched out of the bullpen for Lakeview.

The Indians (7-8) loaded the bases once again in the bottom of the sixth, but Gough ended the threat with his big catch.

“I had to make a play,” Gough said. “We did what we had to do to get this win today. We haven’t played the best baseball this year. But, we really put it all together as a team today. We had crucial hitting. We just made plays.”

The Indians had one more chance in the bottom of the seventh to at least send the game to extra innings. However, they couldn’t find a way to get another runner across the plate.

“That’s a tough one,” Girard coach Aaron Alejars said. “I feel for our guys. We had one of our better pitchers on the mound. He was coming off of an injury. He struggled. He wasn’t at his best, but he was out there grinding.

“Lakeview made plays. Great play by the second baseman. You gotta tip your hat to them on that. There’s probably three or four plays that I know we didn’t make. I think that’s the difference in a one-run game like that.”

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