Cougars accept Lancers return offer – News-Herald

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Lake Catholic took a three-point lead over Gilmour in their May 4 non-conference game. Both teams scored a run in the second and sixth innings, but the Cougars extended their lead to four in the top of the seventh.

The Lancers did not back down from the deficit. Gilmour tackled four runners in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 7-7. But the Cougars scored on two passed balls in the top of the eighth to regain the lead.

While Gilmour managed to cut to a one-point lead thanks to a home run inside the park from Jacob Lowery that passed the center fielder, the Lancers were unable to complete the comeback as the Cougars won 9 -8. Lake Catholic improved to 9-6, while Gilmour fell to 6-11.

Lake Catholic’s first five batters in the first inning reached base. Races were introduced by AJ Trobenter and Frank Bares to take the lead. Trobenter added another in the second to extend the lead.

While the Bats managed to give Lake Catholic the lead, the fielding made sure it stayed out of Gilmour’s reach by supporting starting pitcher Nick DeCapaca, who only recorded his first out at the stick only in the sixth inning. Coach Brian LeRoy has focused on fielding the Cougars this season to better support their pitchers.

“We always focus on that aspect of the field, LeRoy said. “We know we’re not going to take everyone out, and Nick did a great job mixing up the pitches. They had a few hard hit balls. But we did our best to mount them and stayed clean during the game. We played that way for seven out of eight sets and managed to get the win.

But Gilmour was able to find the gaps in the bottom of the seventh as he erased the lead with the bases loaded and no outs. Jesse Shepherd and Daniel Jevnikar led a pair of runners and a pair of passed balls brought the other two.

LeRoy turned to Ben Keeper to try to pick up the Cougars’ momentum and he struck out the next three batters to send the play to extras. After his teammates regained the lead, Keeper knew he had to do what it took to make sure the lead stayed in their favor.

“We had a few games where we let a few balls through and weren’t able to find any good hit balls,” Keeper said. “I knew I had to throw well and I was able to do it. I had faith in my teammates and I knew if Gilmour put the ball in play. I also knew we had sticks that we were going to play to take the lead and then close from there.

After the home run inside the park, Keeper retired the last three batters to end the game.

Despite the loss, Gilmour’s coach John Murphy is proud of how his team continued to fight. Although they fell behind early, the Lancers were then able to tie runs with the Cougars the rest of the way and rallied to tie the game late.

“We have an attitude on the team to keep the fight going until it’s over,” Murphy said. “We’ve had a few winners this season and we know it takes 21 outs to beat us. Today we entered that first hole and I’m proud of how our guys fought back and managed to equalize on the seventh. Even after regaining the lead, we got back at it with the inside-the-park home run, which helps underscore the fact that we’re not out of the game until the last call.

Gilmour is looking to get back into the win column when he hosts Walsh Jesuit on May 5. Lake Catholic is looking for its third straight win when it travels to Chagrin Falls on the same date for another non-conference affair.

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