Wildcats pounce on Lakeland miscues

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lakeland’s baseball team has had an improved season this spring in large part due to the Cavaliers’ steady defensive play. On Tuesday at Great Bridge, in a game critical for the Cavs should they remain in the Southeastern District playoff picture, Lakeland committed six costly errors which helped the host Wildcats to an 8-1 victory.

In the two teams’ meeting in Suffolk earlier this season, Lakeland held a one-run lead for much of the game until Great Bridge rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh and a 5-2 win.

Great Bridge didn’t need such heroics Tuesday as the Wildcats jumped ahead with four runs in the second inning to take control.

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After a one-out single, errors by third baseman Cody Holland and second baseman Jeremy Hagwood fueled the Wildcat offense.

Hagwood’s error was especially costly. With runners on the corners and one out, the sharp grounder to Hagwood could’ve been an inning-ending double play. Instead, the Cavaliers got no outs on the play and a run scored.

A wild pitch and back-to-back hits later, Great Bridge led 4-0, which proved to be enough.

Three more Lakeland errors set the table for three Wildcat runs in the fourth inning.

Lakeland pitcher David Waterfield went all six innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and one walk.

The Cavaliers got on the board in the sixth. Michael Espinosa reached on a Great Bridge error. Hagwood followed with a bunt which went for a single, plus on an overthrow of first base, Espinosa hustled around third and scored. On the overthrow however, Hagwood was caught trying to reach second for the first out of the inning. Lakeland finished with six hits.

Lakeland (8-9, 7-8) has three games left in the regular season. The Cavaliers host Western Branch on Friday at 5:30 p.m.