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BASEBALL: Cranbrook, WOLL play to split on the diamond in CHSL twin bill

   | Jeff Dullack

BASEBALL: Cranbrook, WOLL play to split on the diamond in CHSL twin bill

BLOOMFIELD HILLS – Throughout much of Wednesday’s doubleheader against Catholic League foe Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood found itself playing with fire.
 
While the Cranes ended up getting burned in the first game of the twin bill, falling 6-5, they managed to survive in Game 2, as they outlasted the Lakers for a 3-2 win to salvage a split.
 
Cranbrook coach Andy Fairman toled reporters that he felt his team didn’t play as well as he expected it to, but credited his squad for battling back late in the first game and for grinding out a win in game two.
 
“I thought we struggled all the way around in certain areas,” he said. “We worked really hard, we fought back in the first game and really fought in the second game, but we didn’t really play as well as what we’re capable of. Part of that is that it’s still early in the season and the other part is that we just didn’t play well. From a pitching standpoint, part of it’s on me, we’ve had a very disruptive schedule this week and had a bunch of games pushed back, so it was hard to get kids in the pen and part of that’s on me and that hurt their control.”
 
In the second game, Cranbrook (3-2) took its first lead of the day when Grant Reuss (signed with Michigan) drilled an RBI single to give his team a 1-0 advantage in the top of the third.
 
After WOLL scored in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game up, the Cranes then took the lead back for good when Cameron Maxwell notched a two-RBI single to give his team a 3-1 edge with just one inning left to play.
 
The Lakers (3-1) had their chances throughout much of the game. They had a handful of bases loaded opportunities, but failed to break through and take the lead, thanks in large part to Cranbrook starting pitcher Evan Homovec, who didn’t surrender a hit in over four innings of work, while working through some command issues.
 
“They had the momentum with them, but we had plenty of base runners and plenty of opportunities, but we couldn’t get that hit that we needed,” WOLL skipper Greg Glover said. “We thought all along that we would break through and take this game. Our kids battled.”
 
In the first game, patience was a virtue for Glover's club, as the Lakers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after the first innings. Three of WOLL runs came from scoring on bases-loaded walks and the other coming on an RBI double from Spencer Howell.
 
WOLL drew a total of 15 walks in the first game.
 
“We were patient with our pitches,” said Glover of Lakes’ performance in game one. “Seeing Grant (Reuss), we knew we were seeing a good pitcher and we knew we had to work our pitch count and make him throw pitches and we did that. We came through with some timely hits and our pitching was solid.”
 
Cranbrook managed to trim its deficit to just one-run when Blake Rogow connected for a two-RBI double down the left field line to turn a once comfortable 5-1 lead for the Lakers into just a 5-4 edge in the fifth.
 
Following a WOLL insurance run, the Cranes cut their deficit back down to just one courtesy of a Maxwell RBI single in the top of the sixth, but the Lakers' senior stalwart Vinny Puma worked his way out of a mini jam to secure the win for the Lakers.