MOUNT VERNON — Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well you hit the ball. The defense is in the right place and makes the play.
Friday night, that’s what happened to the Mount Vernon 10-year-old all-star team. The future Jackets smacked 10 hits, but weren’t able to push enough runs across the plate as Lakewood won 9-2 in a District 5 tournament game at Phillips Park.
“They had us defensed really well,” said Mount Vernon coach Bryan Grabow. “They were in the right place and made all the plays. That’s the way this game is.”
Mount Vernon loaded the bases in the first inning, but was unable to push across a run as the Lakewood defense cut down two runners.
The same theme ran throughout the game as Lakewood’s infield forced two runners at third base and five runners at second.
Lakewood, meanwhile, was able to get some key hits when it needed to. The Lancers scored twice in the second inning on just one hit, then exploded for another four runs in the fourth. Three straight hits from Zach Crist, Alex Morrison and Brice Dittoe helped push across the runs. The inning might have been bigger for Lakewood, but Mount Vernon center fielder Braden Spearman made a nice running catch to slow down the bleeding.
Mount Vernon was able to get both its runs in the second inning. Ryan Tiell led off the inning with a single and moved clear to third when the ball got through the Lakewood left fielder. He later scored on a wild pitch. Spencer Bills and Spearman followed with singles, but Bills was forced at third on a ball hit by Kamden Breckler. Caleb McNichols then drove in Spearman with a sharp single. But the threat ended when McNichols was caught stealing.