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Lone Tree’s 20-1 loss against Mediapolis last Friday stung, but it provided motivation for the Lions to bounce back on Monday in an 8-5 win against Pekin.
The Lions used a five-run second inning to give themselves a cushion the rest of the way. Lone Tree was able to put three on base on two consecutive Pekin errors and Tim Mills being hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded Dakota Smith flew out to the shortstop for the first out of the inning. Brady Dauber then was patient at the plate and drew a walk to bring in Payton Lorack. Keegan Edwards then hit a two RBI single to centerfield to bring in Will Hotz and Mills.
Bryce Houser and Avery Knock then walked before Pekin brought in a new pitcher. He faced three batters and got Harmon Miller to fly out and struck out Hotz.
“That’s something that has been hard for us. We haven’t been able to be in a situation like that. We’ve been patient enough get a couple walks,” Mike Close said.
He said he was happy they were able to stay aggressive in at-bats while also drawing walks.
“I think in some of our at-bats we’ve switched our focus, and before we’d watch the first or second strike go by and put ourselves in a tough spot to hit,” Close said. “Now we’re able to get a couple cuts out and we know what we’re doing in our at-bats and it is making a big difference.”
Defensively, catcher Bryce Houser had a nice night as he caught two Pekin runners trying to steal - one to third base in the fourth inning and the other to second base in the sixth inning.
Avery Knock got the win on the mound, going five and one-third innings before Keegan Edwards came on in relief. Edwards went the rest of the way, giving up just one run.
The win was Lone Tree’s second of the season and breaks a six game losing streak.
Lone Tree’s losses last week included a 11-8 loss to Holy Trinity, a 7-4 loss to New London, a 9-6 loss to Louisa-Muscatine and the 20-1 loss to Mediapolis.
Close said the Pekin game can be a turning point for the Lions, but they need to continue to improve on the little things moving forward.
Pekin: 120 100 1 — 5
Lone Tree: 150 101 0 — 8
Holy Trinity: 000 013 34 — 11
Lone Tree: 100 402 01 – 8
New London: 005 020 0 — 7
Lone Tree: 000 020 2 — 4
Louisa-Muscatine: 300 150 0 — 9
Lone Tree: 103 000 2 — 6
Lone Tree: 001 — 1
Mediapolis: 10010 — 20