BASEBALL: OLSM holds off late rally, out-blasts Lake Orion in non-league action
ORCHARD LAKE – While Orchard Lake St. Mary’s held a comfortable lead for much of Monday’s prep diamond tilt against Lake Orion, the Eaglets had to stave off a late Dragons rally to prevail 12-9 in a high-profile non-league battle that pitted public school vs. private school.
Lake Orion had plenty of opportunities to draw even, coming as close as 11-9,but were unable to cash in. St. Mary's senior catcher Will Salter belted an RBI double in the sixth inning to secure the win for the host Eaglets (8-8).
Mike Falter's grand slam in the top of the frame for Lake Orion had pulled the Dragons to within striking distance.
St. Mary’s skipper Matt Petry was pleased with his team’s plate approach on Monday.
“Guys at the top of the lineup, guys that we expect to do well had very good days today and put some good swings on the ball,” he said. “We didn’t see their best, but the couple guys that they did throw were pretty good pitchers and we had good approaches staying up the middle of the field.”
With the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the second inning, St. Mary’s used a monster two-out rally to break the game wide open. After a Mason Vaughn home run with one out, the Eaglets scored six more runs, including two in the form of an RBI single off the bat of Julian Jones.
Salter, who is signed to continue playing on the diamond in college at Michigan State, and his teammates focused on hitting the ball to the opposite field before the game.
“Today during BP (batting practice), our main focus was to take the ball the other way and try to stay inside of balls and try not to pull the ball, because that’s been our trouble the past few games,” he said. ”It’s been a big focus this year because of our coaches and it worked out well today and we’re going to try to keep doing that in our next games.”
Jones added another RBI-single in the third inning.
Senior captains Brad Schaenzer and Connor Grant sparked the Lake Orion's offense, with Schaenzer (signed to pitch in the SEC at Kentucky) drilling a homer and Grant, his catcher, notching a pair of RBI.
The Dragons dropped to 4-6 following the defeat. Last spring, Lake Orion won league, district and regional crowns on its way to the Division 1 quarterfinals.
Lake Orion head coach Andy Schramek didn't feel his team was aggressive enough Monday on the road against St. Mary’s.
“I thought some of the things that we’ve not been doing a very good job of is swinging at fast balls early in the count and staying on top of them,” he said. “I want our guys to be patient, but you don’t want to take that aggressiveness away either and we’re putting ourselves in really bad hitting counts."