If you have all three, chances are you’ve fielded a pretty decent baseball team.
Lakeside has been decent or more so in all three categories as of late — which bodes well for their hopes of turning this into yet another stellar season.
The Vikings were a solid 8-3, going 3-0 in Region 6-AAAAA play last week.
“We’ve kind of started to settle in, get into a rhythm,” said Lakeside skipper Bill Newsome. “We’re scoring a lot of runs — offensively we’re pretty good — and we’ve played pretty good defense the last week or so.”
As for pitching, that’s coming along, too … but, there is some room for improvement.
“We’re going deep into the count … we need to start putting [batters] away earlier,” Newsome acknowledged.
Until then, though, look for the Vikings to continue to lean on a stable of hitters that’s been feasting on opposing pitchers.
The Lakeside lineup — particularly the middle of the order — is putting up impressive numbers. Chad Sitten is batting .513 through 11 games. Meanwhile, Sean Wilson is hitting .419, with four homers, five doubles and 13 RBI. Not to be outdone, Brad Earnest’s .389 batting average, three homers, 15 RBI and 17 runs scored aren’t too shabby.
Sitten, Wilson and Bobby Tippett each notched three hits during the ball club’s last outing —a 10-6 win over Southwest DeKalb March 22.
The Lakeside pitching rotation is not without its bright spots, either.
Kenny Ajello, 4-0 on the mound this season, has been the team’s most consistent hurler. He struck out seven hitters en route to throwing a one-hitter in the Vikings’ 11-1 win over Mays last week March 20.
To date, Ajello notched 27 strikeouts to seven walks in nearly 17 innings of work. Andrew Doetsch, 1-0 with a couple no decisions, has a team-leading 2.25 ERA in 18 innings of work.
The senior-laden Vikings have been able to transition to a new catcher and shortstop rather smoothly as juniors Tippett and Tyler Povlsen have stepped into those roles and played well.
The Vikings will need all hands on deck to navigate a tough remaining schedule.
Newsome, who recently joined the 200-win club, acknowledged how “interesting” it will be to see how things pan out in region play.
“We’re an experienced team — 12 seniors — so we knew what we had going in,” he said. “All in all, we’re OK … we’ll be pretty competitive.”
Lakeside’s upcoming games:
home vs Tucker, today at 5 p.m.
at Stephenson, Friday at 5:30 p.m.
home vs Clarkston, Monday at 5 p.m.