Isaiah Hart ripped a walk-off double in the opener and Mattoon High alum Jacob Spitz singled in the decisive run in the second game to hand Lake Land College a sweep of Rock Valley in baseball action Friday.
Hart’s liner on a 1-1 pitch to center in the eighth inning of Game 1 scored Oliver Dunn, who had reached base on an error and moved to second on a walk, lifting the Lakers to an 8-7 victory. Hart collected two hits and drove in two runs while teammate Keegan Garis had three hits.
“It is great to see us overcome and win in these situations,” Lake Land coach Julio Godinez said. “I keep saying it, but this team has a chance to be very special. We just have to eliminate putting ourselves in situations that favor the other team: two-out walks, hit batters, earned runs or not being able to hold base runners. But it was awesome to see Hart put a charge into one today.”
Charleston High alum Caleb Hurst allowed four earned runs across the first three innings on three hits and three bases on balls. Hurst fanned three batters.
Lake Land scored six in the second inning, but Rock Valley responded with four in the fourth and eventually tied the score at 7 in the seventh, which forced the extra inning.
In Game 2, Spitz lined a single to left on the second pitch he saw in the sixth inning to score Jacob Walker for a 2-1 lead it never gave up. Walker was pinch-running for first baseman Jason Brulport, who had been hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice.
“In our first seven games, I have been really impressed with Spitz’s approach,” Godinez said. “He is understanding who he is and is working to get his pitches.”
Lucas Otto induced a fly ball that stranded a Rock Valley runner on third base in the seventh inning to earn his first save.
Lake Land, which had only four hits, relied on its pitching in the second game. Starter Kolby Pemberton did not allow a hit across three innings, Nash Mose allowed one run across the ensuing three innings and Otto pitched the scoreless seventh.
Godinez said Rock Valley kept his batters off-balance through most of the game. “We had our chances to score early in the ball game and left runners stranded,” he said.
Lake Land 8, Rock Valley 7
Lake Land 2, Rock Valley 1