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Lakeland can’t stop Bayside bats

Both Lakeland and Bayside had to endure 90-plus degree temperatures to get in a non-district baseball game Tuesday afternoon at Lakeland. The host Cavaliers also had to endure 22 Marlin hits, including seven doubles, as Bayside slugged its way to a 20-9 win.

After Bayside used 10 hits and four doubles in a nine-run second inning, the Marlins led the rest of the game. Lakeland succeeded however, in rallying to make a game of it.

“I’m really proud of them, to battle back how they did. They are doing what we ask them to do,” said Lakeland head coach Bruce Hagwood.

Instead of simply playing out the last few innings, and probably having the game end early with the 10-run rule, Lakeland fought back to within two runs.

In the bottom of the second, singles by Tyler Strange and Jon Wagner, then a walk to Randall Jones, loaded the bases with one out.

Lakeland got on the board thanks to a wild pitch. Freshman Jarod Bass brought in a run with a grounder to second.

One more Lakeland run came in on a passed ball, then back-to-back throwing errors by Marlin infielders kept the inning going. Leadoff hitter Brandon Snook scored on the second error. Trey Wright’s single past shortstop plated Lance Smith to make it a five-run Lakeland frame.

Two innings later, Lakeland took another big chunk out of Bayside’s lead. Three straight Lakeland hitters reached base to load the bags with one out. Strange, a sophomore catcher, shot a single into short center for one RBI.

Nate Meeks hit a grounder to second. Bayside got an out at second and was late making the double-play throw to first. David Waterfield scored from third and Wright hustled all the way from second to score two runs on a routine ground ball and make it 10-8 Marlins.

Bayside opened up a big lead again with a seven-run rally in the next inning.

Waterfield pitched the first four-plus innings for the Cavaliers (1-6). Jones pitched two innings and Wright pitched the seventh.

“We’ve got to cut down on some of our mental mistakes defensively and we’ll be where we need to be. The guys battled hard and they’re working hard every day,” Hagwood said.

Lakeland’s off through the rest of spring break. District play picks up again Tuesday with the Cavs playing at Great Bridge.