PEARCY, Ark. – Lake Hamilton finds itself struggling to finish games. The Wolves have blown big leads their last two games, losing to Sheridan, and Lakeside Tuesday.
The Wolves led 7-1 early and 8-3 late. It wasn’t enough as the Rams rallied for three runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh for a 10-8 victory.
Lakeside improves to 13-3 overall, and 6-2 in the 5A South. Lake Hamilton is 11-6 on the season, and 5-4 in conference.
“Our guys stepped up; I can’t say how proud I am of our squad,” said winning coach Garrett Bock. “We had a chance to give up, and the guys never did. That’s what we preach in the weightroom, all the way through our program. No matter how bad it gets.”
Browning’s bases loaded double is difference
Will Ross was hit by a pitch to start the Rams’ seventh. He was the fifth Lake Hamilton batter hit by a pitch. One out later Wyatt Gibson singled. Brock Prince lined a single to left. Senior Brennan Browning then produced the game’s biggest hit, a bases-clearing double that gave the Rams a 9-8 lead. Browning scored six pitches later on a single by Chace Tittle.
Freshman Brady Arnold was the second of three Lakeside pitchers and got the win. Sophomore Wyatt Gibson retired the final batter of the game with the potential tying runs at second and third.
“Their pitcher (Weston Dobyns) did a great job early of keeping us off balanced,” said Bock. “We had a freshman behind the plate, and a freshman on the mound, who really stepped up. Brady Arnold has been huge for us all season. He’s just now starting to get some varsity reps. Browning brings us great leadership, and Peyton Ballard had a great game.”
Tittle and Prince had a double and single each for the Rams. Ballard had a double and walked twice, while Gibson and Ethan Rogers contributed two hits each.
Weigand: we’re struggling to finish games
Dylan Horton doubled in the second and scored the Wolves’ first run. The host team made it 7-1 in the third after a leadoff single by Kohen Manley. Ryan Fields doubled him home, and Carson Harris walked on a 3-1 offering. Josh Paris singled home a run, and Horton drew a free pass. Matthew Carmack and J.T. Bardwell then hammered back-to-back doubles.
“All I know is that Lakeside got rolling, and we couldn’t stop them,” said Lake Hamilton coach Matt Weigand. “We’ve got to figure out how to close games out. White Hall came back and almost got us. Sheridan did get us, and today we blew another lead. We’re scoring runs, but we can’t hold the other teams. We had eleven walks and hit by pitches. When you walk them early you turn the lineup over. The good hitters get more at-bats.”
The Wolves outhit Lakeside, 12-11. Ryan Fields had a double and two singles. Carmack had two doubles, while Horton and Bardwell had a double and single each.
Lakeside will host White Hall Thursday at 5 p.m. The Wolves travel to Pine Bluff. Weigand said that game was scheduled for Friday, but possibly could be moved to Thursday.