AREA BASEBALL: Lake View's 5-Run Lead, Playoff Hopes Evaporate Against Sweetwater
SAN ANGELO, TX -- The Lake View Chiefs’ playoff hopes were dashed after their 5-run lead evaporated in a 15-8 loss to Sweetwater on senior night Tuesday.
The Chiefs held a 5-0 lead entering the fifth inning before Sweetwater scored 12 unanswered runs to take a 12-5 lead. Sweetwater picked up 11 runs in the sixth inning thanks to six hits, three walks, two hit batsmen, two errors and a wild pitch.
Lake View would claw three runs back in the home half of the sixth, but Sweetwater responded with four more runs on three errors and two hits to seal the win.
“I told them, as they came off the field, we don’t have to get it all back right now,” Kinney said. “Keep doing what you’re doing. We know we can score runs.”
Lake View’s Robert Ruiz gave a valiant 5.1 innings of work. He was in line for the win on the mound when he exited the game ahead 5-3. Two more runners he allowed came home to score after to tie the game.
“Everytime he’s taken the mound the last two years, he’s been that guy,” Kinney praised. “We’re gonna hate losing him. I wish we had about 10 more like him. He gives everything he has every outing. It’s incredible to watch -- win, lose or draw. It’s rewarding to watch. It’s a testament to his character.”
The senior would finish with five runs on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
Jaden Haynes led the way offensively, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. He was one of five Chiefs to tally multiple hits. Adrian Villa was the only other Chief with multiple RBIs and multiple hits after going 2-for 3 with two runs scored with a pair of RBIs.
After the heartbreaking loss, second year head coach Chad Kinney took a moment to offer real life coaching for his players. Moments like that are important for coaches in the high school ranks.
“It’s the most important thing,” Kinney said. “You always wanna win. We, as a staff, wanna win as well. But we wanna win more for them. What they learn from this team and baseball is greater than any win.”
Kinney’s anecdote to his somber team referenced an old lady staring at her husband’s tombstone. The story would go that she said the dates of his birth and death didn’t matter; the hyphen bridging the two together did.
“This season, the last four seasons for these seniors, is just a little part of their dash,” Kinney said. “If they attack life like they attack practices and games, they’re all gonna be alright. They’re gonna have great lives. You hate it for them, but you hope they walk away with something learned that they can take on later in life.”
Lake View will close out the season on the road at Big Spring on Tuesday.
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