Laughlin, The Meadows split baseball doubleheader
LAUGHLIN — It was a fun afternoon of baseball as the Cougars split the doubleheader against The Meadows School Mustangs in the NIAA 2A Southern League clash on March 21.
A two-run home run in the fifth inning of each game decided who took each win in the doubleheader matchup. Both games ended in a 4-3 result with Meadows taking game one and Laughlin taking the second.
“If you didn’t enjoy those games, then you’re not a high school baseball fan,” said head coach Tony Petrik after the doubleheader. “We were just as close as going 2-0 as going 0-2 today, and so was Meadows.”
The result puts Laughlin at 7-2 overall and 2-2 in league play.
Laughlin led Meadows in the first game with a run in the bottom of the third until senior Sam Kaplan singled home sophomore Michael Corrigan to tie it.
Meadows took the lead in the inning when senior Justin Tanaka singled junior Brett Lieuallen in from third.
Things stayed that way until the fifth, when Kaplan hit a two-run home run. It was enough for Meadows to take game one even after an offensive push from Laughlin, which scored two runs in the seventh.
Junior Mustang Trey Covell, relieved Lieuallen on the mound in the seventh and sealed the deal by striking out freshman Daniel Montoya-Allen to end the first game.
Montoya-Allen had a tying runner on third and a winning runner on second.
“That’s what you live for,” Petrik said. “Despite the result, I liked that he didn’t wilt, and the moment wasn’t too big for him.”
Game two was much like the first. Solid pitching from both sides, and when the ball was in play, teams made plays.
This time it was the Mustangs who jumped out to an early one-run lead. It stayed that way until the third inning when Tanaka doubled home Lieuallen.
Laughlin got on the board in the third when junior infielder Tyrell Gonzalez doubled Diego Trujillo home, making it 2-1.
The Mustangs put up another run in the fifth but Trujillo used his speed to hit a two-run inside-the park homer off Kaplan to tie the game at three apiece.
“Diego can flat out fly around the bases,” Petrik said. “If he hits in the gap to the wall, they better have somebody who is as equally fast to get the ball in quick.”
Senior infielder Robert Anderson, who returned recently from injury, doubled senior Tyreece Gonzalez home to give Laughlin the lead in what proved to be the game-winning hit.
Trujillo, who pitched all seven innings of the second game, struck out six Meadows batters in the last two innings of the contest.
“I really like our team,” Petrik said. “We got kids that are eager to learn and they play the game hard.”
Meadows head coach Andy Concepcion thought his guys played good ball as well despite some flat bats.
“The first game was good,” he said. “The second game we let it slip away a bit, and one bad pitch was hit to left field and we couldn’t capitalize on it.”
Laughlin plays another league doubleheader away at Adelson on Thursday.