A slow start did in the White Lake baseball team in its Friday season opener, as the Lakers fell at Almond-Bancroft 11-4 in the debut for head coach Dave Jarmuz.
The Lakers looked like a team that hadn’t played a game yet, as the host went out to an 8-0 lead after three innings of play.
“I think the kids were nervous and just played scared,” Jarmuz said. “It was like they forgot everything we had worked on. However, they never gave up, had a great attitude and we battled. I am proud of that. I realized this was the first game ever at any level for a few players and it was the first game in two years for others.”
The remainder of the game saw the Lakers outscore Almond-Bancroft 4-3, as the nerves wore off as the contest went on.
“I think we did well,” Jarmuz noted. “However, we have a long way to go. If we started the game at the end of the third inning 0-0, we win 4-3. We need to have small victories to build on. I told the kids after being down 8-0, we need to just try and win innings now to slowly climb back into this game. We don’t need all eight runs right away.”
One big drawback for the Lakers was strikeouts, with 12 in the game and four of the caught-looking variety.
“We need to hit the ball and protect at the plate better,” Jarmuz explained. “We can’t have that and compete in games. We also only had three hits, and they came at good times, but we need to get the bat on the ball more.”
Those hits came courtesy of Jake Jarmuz, Blake Baehman and Gage Steckbauer. Jarmuz reached base twice, with a walk to his credit as well.
Baehman took the loss on the mound, giving up eight runs, seven earned over 2 2/3 innings of work. He allowed seven hits, walked five and struck out two.
“I know Blake has better in him,” Jarmuz said. “He battled out there, giving it his all when he knew he just didn’t have his best stuff tonight. I was proud of him.”
Jarmuz came on in relief and threw the final 3 1/3 innings. Jarmuz allowed three runs, two earned on three hits. He also struck out four and walked a pair, while also being able to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the third.
“Jake threw well,” Jarmuz noted. “He got beat a couple times when he left the ball up to a few of their better hitters.”
There was also several defensive highlights in the field for the Lakers. Blake Lambert made an extra base-saving catch in deep left-center field, while Braden Fredrick played a very good game at first base, scooping balls out of the dirt and making several nice stretch plays to retire runners.
The Lakers will look to even their record Tuesday, when they open Northern Lakes Conference play by hosting Crandon.