TURNER – High school baseball is a game of maximizing your opponent’s mistakes while minimizing your own. Edward Little did enough of the former to make up for its generosity with the latter to beat Leavitt 11-5 Thursday.
The Red Eddies engaged the Hornets in a seesaw battle before pitcher Kyle Giguere and the defense behind him found their groove and shut Leavitt down in the final three innings.
“I was hitting my spots, throwing strikes and putting the ball in play. Ground balls and pop flies, that’s what we need,” Giguere said.
Some of those ground balls hurt Giguere in the early going, as the Eddies committed four errors in the first four innings. Only one of the five runs Giguere surrendered was earned, and that was a solo home run by Scott Redmun on the first pitch Giguere threw in the fourth.
“I started him off with a fastball and he just got a hold of it,” Giguere said.
A pair of EL miscues following Redmun’s blast led to another run that put Leavitt (1-5) ahead 5-4. Chris Merrill’s RBI single in the sixth off reliever Chris Brewer tied it, then the Hornets helped out with a throwing error on the back end of a potential double play that kept the inning alive and put Justin Ciszewski into scoring position. Tyler Dorris followed with a two-out double just inside the line at third to score Ciszewski with what proved to be the winning run.
Two more Leavitt errors in the seventh allowed the Eddies to break the game open on Ciszewski’s three-run homer to left.
“When we got a couple of little openings, we had to jump through because we weren’t helping ourselves in the field,” said EL coach Scott Annear. “We try to do things in practice to familiarize ourselves with those situations so that when we do see an opening we do tend to take advantage. We have hitters that are aggressive at the right times, play situational hitting at the right time, and we have very good baserunners.”
EL (4-2) set the opportunistic tone in the second inning, scoring the game’s first run without a hit off Leavitt starter Nick Letourneau. Two walks, a pair of wild pitches and Kevin Smith’s RBI groundout plated Giguere to make it 1-0. The Eddies doubled the margin in the third on Dorris’ RBI single.
Leavitt capitalized on an inning-extending mistake by Edward Little in the third to take its first lead. Dan Buzzell started the two-out rally with a single. A misplayed grounder at short by Merrill kept the rally alive, and Evan Barker smacked a single to left to score Buzzell. Justin Rouillard stole home to tie the game and Letourneau drove Barker home with a single to make it 3-2.
“We’re finally starting to get our lineup together the way we thought it might be. That’s a little bit positive,” Leavitt coach Dave Morin said. “We just made too many mistakes in the field.”
Two errors and a missed tag at home allowed the Eddies to regain the lead in the fourth. Giguere (7 IP, 7 hits, 2 Ks, no walks) surrendered the lead one last time in the bottom of the frame before setting down the last 10 Hornets he faced on a efficient 26 pitches.
“He’s very resilient. He’s a polished pitcher,” Annear said. “We had plenty of opportunities to get him out of there, three-and-out, and we didn’t do that for him, but he didn’t hang his head.”