BASE­BALL

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homer from pinch hit­ter Justin Bivens.

“We didn’t ex­e­cute when we were sup­posed to and we didn’t put the bunt down,” said McDonough head coach Mike Ly­don, whose team had 10 hits and left nine run­ners on base in the game. “Early in the game we had the bases loaded and we popped up in the in­field. Right now we are not hit­ting or do­ing the right things when we need it. When there is no pres­sure on us we can hit the ball. Bivens came in and hit a three-run homer that helped us out tremen­dously. But we had some er­rors and we didn’t hit early in the game.”

Bivens added, “That home run kept the mo­men­tum go­ing and ev­ery­one ex­cited about the game.”

My­ers and Trevor Drum­mond each had two hits to lead the Rams.

Lar­son started on the mound for the Rams and went three in­nings with four strike­outs, al­low­ing three runs on four hits and walked four bat­ters.

Rams beat Pa­tri­ots

Base­ball statis­tics like the

ones as­so­ci­ated with McDonough in Mon­day af­ter­noon’s SMAC non­di­vi­sion con­test with the vis­it­ing North­ern Pa­tri­ots gen­er­ally do not lead to good things.

The Rams were out­hit by the Pa­tri­ots and also com­mit­ted six er­rors, ex­actly dou­ble North­ern’s to­tal for the game. But McDonough did a bet­ter job of pro­duc­ing hits in key mo­ments than its guests and held the edge in the most im­por­tant statis­tic at game’s end: the score. How­ever ugly it may have been at times, the Rams held on for an 8-6 vic­tory.

“Get­ting the win was good,” Ly­don said, of­fer­ing what was pos­i­tive about his team’s per­for­mance. “I thought we played bad. We had six er­rors, all in the in­field and my strong suit is my in­field. I don’t want to say all six of their runs scored were un­earned, but it was pretty close to it. We

played slop­pily.”

The Pa­tri­ots scored a pair of runs in the top of the sec­ond to move back in front 3-1. But again, the hosts re­sponded, this time with a five-run out­burst that put them in front to stay. The Rams had just two base hits in the in­ning, the last be­ing a two-run Lar­son triple to close the in­ning’s scor­ing, but also drew two walks and had two hit bat­ters with all four of those run­ners even­tu­ally scor­ing.

Af­ter McDonough tacked on a run in the bot­tom of the fifth, Nort­th­ern again loaded the bases in the top of the sixth. But with two outs, pitcher Brant But­ler in­duced a pop-up to es­cape the jam.

But­ler then worked a 1-2-3 seventh — the only time in the game that the Pa­tri­ots went down in or­der — to nail down the win for the hosts.

Lar­son, with a dou­ble and triple, was the only McDonough player to log a multi-hit game, while Drum­mond, Bivens and Quinn Robert­son each scored twice.

The Rams pro­duced just six base hits, but drew six walks and had two hit bat­ters.

“It’s a big ac­com­plish­ment to keep win­ning at home,” said Drum­mond, who was 1 for 3 with a walk, RBI and the two runs. “The guys keep putting up a de­cent amount of runs and our pitch­ing has been out­stand­ing for the last cou­ple of weeks. We had a cou­ple of er­rors to­day, but at the end of the day we made some big plays and got the outs that we needed to.”

The win was the fifth in the last six games for McDonough. Even with the largely pos­i­tive run the team has been on, Ly­don is still look­ing for his team to play a com­plete game, es­pe­cially with the sea­son rapidly mov­ing into the home stretch.

“What I need to see is bet­ter ef­fort, and in the in­field we need to quit mak­ing so many er­rors,” he said. “Baserun­ning, when we’re giv­ing the bunt sign we’re not putting the bunt down, a cou­ple signs we’re miss­ing. We’re not play­ing base­ball the way it’s sup­posed to be played. We’re play­ing like, ‘We’re good. We can just throw our hats on and go out there and play.’ Ev­ery game we play is like this. We have not played a game con­sis­tently that from the be­gin­ning we should have won.”

McDonough will look to make it six wins in its last seven with its sched­uled matchup at Lackey at 4:30 p.m. to­day.

PHOTO BY ROB WOR­MAN

McDonough’s Justin Bivens is con­grat­u­lated by as­sis­tant coach Danny Ly­don af­ter hit­ting a three­run home run in the fifth in­ning of Fri­day’s game at La Plata. The War­riors coun­tered with a three-run shot from Jake Hanks in the sixth and held on to win 7-6.

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