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Dragons strike back to upset Highlanders

Cody Campbell pitches one over the plate. The sophomore proved an effective closing pitcher. Photo by Gabriel Ouzounian (click for larger version)
April 20, 2011 - Against the odds and an early Highlander lead, the Lake Orion Varsity Baseball Team managed to turn a loss into an upsetting win on April 13.

The game started unremarkably, with both teams bringing in a single run in the first inning, yet Rochester Adams showed their teeth in the second, bringing in four more runs while denying the Dragons completely. Sloppy play and slow reactions on the Dragons part seemed to be the cause, but the team would steadily progress into a well oiled machine over the course of the game.

In the third inning, the Dragons let up another two runs to the Highlanders while again scoring no runs. A good stop on a line drive over third base by Lake Orion's third baseman kept the score from becoming more spread out, but thanks to the speedy efficiency of Rochester Adams defense, the Dragons were lost their turn at bat before any runners managed to take a base.

The fourth innings appeared as a bracket on the scoreboard - separating the seesaw game straight down the middle with both teams bringing in a run each. Rochester Adams proved adept in using sacrificial at-bats to put runners on third, but a newly awakened Dragon team shut the Highlanders down before any real momentum could be gained. The same could not be said for the Dragons, as this inning would mark the last time then Highlanders would score in the game.

The gain started slowly in the fifth inning, with the Dragons bringing one more runner home while denying Rochester Adams completely. The sixth inning would would also end scoreless for Rochester Adams, but thanks to some solid batting from Lake Orion, the score now sat at 8-6.

Notably, Lake Orion fans sweat out the final Rochester Adams at bat, with not only full bases but full count. A strike out from the Lake Orion pitcher put the inning away. An error on the Rochester Adams catcher helped bring in one run as well.

The seventh inning - normally the last inning in high school baseball - would be the one the Dragons hoped for, when they tied the game up, gaining a chance to take home a victory.

The eighth inning saw a revitalized Highlander team take to the field eager for the win, but thanks to the closing power of sophomore pitcher Cody Campbell, they only ever managed to put two runners on base, despite the Campbell hitting a batter early in the inning. Lady Luck seemed to be on the Dragons' side, and two early errors at first base put a Lake Orion runner in scoring position on second base. A sacrifice play from sophomore Roman Kuster moved junior Dalton Oveson from second to third, while junior Justin Demeny hit one low infield to bring Oveson home in one of the closest plays of the game.

Head Coach Andy Schramek said most of the problems in the first five innings were defensive.

"We made a nice comeback, which is always welcome, but the play out there was sloppy," said Schramek. "I'm happy with the way the kids responded to the score though, and it was a great way to come back and win it."

The Dragons of baseball will play again today, April 20, against Oxford.

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