April 2, 2015 – Lakeside at Columbia

The Vikings turned in their grittiest effort of the season Thursday afternoon, taking down an undefeated and offensively potent Columbia High JV team by a 3-1 score.

Kiernan Acklin was outstanding on the mound for Lakeside, yielding just one unearned run over seven innings and scattering five hits, with five punch-outs and walking just two. Evan Fletcher delivered the crucial hit, a two-run single with two outs in the sixth.

Columbia has an excellent squad and the first time through Lakeside’s batting order, it looked like the batting malaise from Tuesday’s loss to Tucker was still hovering. Only Calden Nolf managed to post a hit during the first three innings, reaching on a grounder deep into the shortstop hole.

Meanwhile, the Eagles jumped ahead in the first inning. A one-out walk was followed by a fielder’s choice bounceout to third base, with the runner advancing to second. He came home on a fielding error by shortstop Matt Holt, temporarily up from the freshman team thanks to a bunch of injuries throughout the Lakeside program.

But Acklin quickly regrouped and got into a nice groove on the mound, and in the fourth the Vikings began to back him up and start timing the Columbia starter, a righty with nice pop and location on his fastball.

Acklin led off by reaching on a throwing error by the third baseman, but courtesy runner Marcus Clark was out overrunning second base following a wild pickoff throw to first. But Beau McKenna followed with a ground single up the middle, stole second and came home on Matt Holt’s line single to center field.

Vikings center fielder Michael Malinovsky helped preserve the tie in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and a runner at first, Malinovsky ran down a deep line drive that was absolutely crushed, making an over-the-shoulder catch. It was the second excellent play by Lakeside outfielders on tall and wet grass, Fletcher having snared a fly to deep center in the third inning.

As the game zipped along at a rapid clip, the Vikings missed a great chance to take the lead in the fifth when third baseman Nick Holt (a whole lotta Holt on the left side of the infield today) walked and Matthew Rodriguez grounded a single past the shortstop with no outs. But a shallow outfield fly and a lineout followed, and Holt was caught trying to steal third.

But Lakeside would not be denied in the sixth. Acklin led off with a shallow fly ball that Columbia’s left fielder misjudged and then dropped on the run for an error. Acklin stole second without a throw one out later, and McKenna singled through the shortstop-third base hole, continuing to second on the throw in.

With runners at second and third, Matt Holt struck out swinging, leaving it up to Fletcher who delivered with a line single to right center.

That was all Acklin would need, as he mixed a crisp fastball with his breaking stuff effectively throughout the game so he could keep his pitch count down and eliminate the need for late-inning relief help. Columbia did get the tying runs on via two hits in the bottom of the seventh, but the game’s final out then came on a groundout to second baseman Nolf.

Our boys head into spring break on a positive note and boasting a 9-3 record. Their next scheduled game is a home contest against Druid Hills on Wednesday, April 15 at 5 p.m. The countywide JV end-of-season tournament is slated to begin the following weekend, location to be determined.

March 31, 2015 Tucker at Lakeside

Quality at-bats were a rare commodity for the Vikings JVs Tuesday afternoon, as our boys managed just three hits against visiting Tucker and lost 1-0, ending a seven-game win streak.

Lakeside worked runners into scoring position in just two of seven innings, to third base in only one. Vikings batters struck out seven times against Tucker righty Emory Willis, who went the distance for the win. For whatever reason, our lineup seemed completely flummoxed by his curveball and then unprepared to get around on his fastball.

In fact, if you wanted to see something offensive from the Vikings, it would have to be Michael Malinovsky’s and Kiernan Acklin’s semi-choreographed dance to “Apache (Jump on It)” between innings. Won’t be forgetting that anytime soon.

In the bottom of the first, Acklin legged out a two-out grounder up the middle for a single and kept running to second when the throw went wild. He advanced to third on a wild pitch. But Malinovsky, whose bat had been red hot of late, tapped back to the mound to end the inning.

After that, the fans could pretty much amble over to the concession stand, sit back and watch fine pitching by Willis and the Vikings’ Michael Hannah (5 2/3 innings, four hits, two strikeouts, three walks). The game progressed rapidly, the rare excitement coming from fine defensive plays by Acklin and his Tucker counterpart at shortstop ranging to their left to snare grounders.

Hannah really didn’t deserve to lose this game, but in the top of the sixth he yielded a one-out walk and then a line single to right-center with the hit-and-run on. Tucker called for a suicide squeeze bunt that actually was not well executed, trickling right in front of the mound, but Hannah had a little trouble getting the ball out of his glove and the runner slid home ahead of his throw. One batter later, Beau McKenna would relieve him and retire the final four Tucker hitters.

That measley run was all the Tigers needed to win this game, although Lakeside did make things a bit interesting in the bottom of the seventh when McKenna walked with one out and Evan Fletcher dropped a Texas leaguer into right-center. However, Parker Boyd struck out looking at a curve and Nick Holt bounced out deep into the hole at shortstop, and that was all she wrote for the home team.

Our JVs go back on the road one more time before spring break, with a 5 p.m. first pitch on Thursday at Columbia High. Let’s hope our batters come out focused and energized. No word yet on whether and when Monday’s, ahem, washout at Dunwoody will be rescheduled.

Saturday, March 28, 2015 – Lakeside at Riverwood

The Vikings JVs headed over to Sandy Springs Saturday and pummeled Riverwood High, sweeping a doubleheader by 15-0 and 7-3. Our pitchers enjoyed a lead pretty much the whole day and were confident and effective, and the defense was sharp until our boys got a little tired at the end of Game 2.

The day’s only downer came in the sixth inning of Game 2, when the Raider catcher boldly went where no man had gone before – blocking the plate against Sean Mootrey with a full head of steam. Both players left the game, Sean clutching his shoulder, and we’re hoping he’s okay.

Lakeside put Riverwood on the ropes early in Game 1. Calden Nolf led off the game by drawing a walk from a lefty pitcher and moved to second on James Knight’s single to left. Mootrey was hit by a pitch, Michael Malinovsky drove Nolf with a fielder’s choice grounder, and Sam Sly worked the count full before rapping a two-run single to center.

The Vikings got back into the dugout quickly as starter Michael Hannah posted two of his three strikeouts, and put two more runs on the scoreboard without benefit of a hit. Two walks, a hit batsmen, another fielder’s choice RBI by Malinovsky, and a wild throw on a stolen base were among Riverwood’s gifts.

Lakeside put the game away in the top of the third when Beau McKenna and James Knight walked ahead of Mootrey’s towering home run to left-center, and Malinovsky and Sly singled ahead of Kiernan Acklin’s two-run single up the middle. Score 10-0 Vikings, and you could see on the Raiders’ faces they were conceding this game and hoping to regroup for the second game.

With Vikings pitchers continuing to work on short pitch counts, Hannah gave way in the third to Evan Fletcher, who promptly struck out two Raiders looking. Then, three walks by a Riverwood reliever, three wild pitchers and two errors sandwiched around a line single to center by Malinovsky ran the score up to 15-0. A Raider singled off Fletcher and got into scoring position in the bottom of the fourth, but he stood on second base when Lakeside ended the contest by run rule.

Riverwood showed more fight in Game 2 behind another lefty starter who was effective for several innings. Although Nolf led off popping a single into left field, stole second and scored after two wild pitches, the Raiders scored their first run of the day, off lefty starter Jaelin Sewell. A leadoff single, stolen base, walk, infield error and wild pitch left the game tied after one inning.

Riverwood then took the lead in the bottom of the second, thanks to a looping single to left-center, sacrifice bunt, fielder’s choice groundout and a wild Vikings pickoff throw to third base.

However, Lakeside wrested the lead back for good in the top of the third, as Knight beat out an infield hit and Mootrey walked ahead of Malinovsky’s two-run double inches inside the third base line, with Mootrey sliding home by an eyelash.

The scoreboard stayed at 3-2 through the fifth inning, as Sly relieved Sewell and quickly loaded the bases on walks and a hit-by-pitch, but was helped out by Mootrey gunning down a would-be stealer at second. Sly had a much easier time the next two innings, ringing up two strikeouts in the fourth and getting help from an inning-ending double play in the fifth, with second baseman Knight snagging a line drive off his shoetops and tossing to shortstop Acklin to double up a runner.

Lakeside put away this much more spirited game in the sixth, as Beau McKenna (walk), Fletcher (hit by a pitch) and Nick Holt (infield error) loaded the bases with no outs. McKenna was forced at home when Nolf grounded to a drawn-in infield, and Knight struck out looking. But Fletcher scored on a wild pitch, Malinovsky poked a seeing-eye single up the middle for another run, and Sly rapped a two-run single to right-center that ended with the aforementioned collision at home plate.

McKenna took over on the mound in the sixth and gave up a run after plunking a batter with his first pitch. He stole second, advanced to third on a line single to left and scored when catcher Sly’s throw on a steal attempt sailed into center field. In the seventh, McKenna shrugged off two seeing-eye singles and retired the next three in order.

The sweep raised our JVs’ record to 8-2 and ran their win streak to seven games. Lakeside now is slated to take on a tough Dunwoody team at their park at 5:55 p.m. Monday, although the weather report calls for morning rain. Tucker will come to Wilson Field on Tuesday, with a 5 p.m. first pitch.

March 26, 2015 – Lakeside at Druid Hills

Lakeside’s JVs went to Druid Hills High Thursday and pulled out a 12-7 victory, showing patience at the plate, mixing in timely hitting and pitching just well enough.

Our boys coaxed 10 walks, four of them by leadoff hitter Calden Nolf, and posted 11 hits over seven innings including a three-hit evening by Michael Malinovsky (two triples). Pitchers on both sides channeled their inner Nuke LaLooshes, with the Red Devils hitting four batters and the Vikings plunking three. Our hurlers all were on short pitch counts owing to a compacted game schedule and would follow an easy inning with a frame in which they scuffled, but minimized the damage.

Most importantly, Lakeside ran its winning streak to five games heading into Saturday’s doubleheader at Riverwood. And, it didn’t rain.

The Vikings dented the scoreboard quickly in the top of the first after Sean Mootrey reached on a two-out throwing error by the pitcher. Courtesy runner Michael Hannah stole second, held at third on Malinovsky’s sharp grounder into left field, and scored on Beau McKenna’s single deep into the hole at shortstop.

McKenna took the mound and retired the Red Devils on just six pitches. His teammates then gave him two more runs to work with; Druid Hills did most of the giving, with two hit-by-pitches and two walks over four consecutive at-bats. Mootrey’s HBP drove in a run, as did Malinovsky’s sharp grounder that turned into a fielder’s choice at second. Parker Boyd had led off the inning with a booming double to left-center but then made a mistake trying to take third on a wild pitch that only bounced a few feet from the catcher.

Druid Hills closed the gap to 3-2 in the bottom of the inning as McKenna struggled and gave up a double and two singles. The Vikings came right back in the top of the third as Acklin doubled to the right-center gap off a Red Devils reliever, took third on Jaelin Sewell’s single deep into the hole at shortstop, and scored on a wild pitch.

New pitcher Evan Fletcher enjoyed a quick bottom of the third including two strikeouts, and then Lakeside started pounding nails into Red Devil coffins. Malinovsky led off the fourth with a triple and trotted home on a misplay by the center fielder. A cavalcade of walks and wild pitches followed, and by the time Druid Hills could get out of the fourth, our JVs were up 10-2.

Fletcher hit some bumps in the road and gave up two runs, but second baseman James Knight helped him out by ending the fourth fielding a slow grounder, tagging out a runner and tossing to first for an inning-ending double play. Acklin would come on in the fifth and zip through two innings with four groundouts and two Ks, then make things a bit interesting by hitting three batters in the bottom of the seventh. Those three free bases coupled with an infield error enabled the Red Devils to narrow the gap to the final 12-7.

Our boys stranded 14 baserunners, and hopefully we’ll see more Vikings cross the plate during Saturday’s doubleheader, which starts at 12:30 at Riverwood. More baseball looms with a Dunwoody away game Monday and a home rematch with Tucker on Tuesday. The rain forecast is perfect for Saturday but gloomy for Monday. You didn’t think the meteorological gods were done messing with us, did you?

March 24, 2015 – Lakeside at Decatur

Last year in a blue-knuckle cold front, Lakeside and Decatur combined for 33 runs at Decatur High’s McKoy Park. This year on a perfect night for baseball at the same field, the offenses managed to score just six times. Go figure.

The Viking JVs’ bats generally were inconsistent Tuesday night, but the defense was quite solid and the pitching from starter Michael Hannah excellent. The 4-2 win over the Bulldogs brought Lakeside to the regular season’s halfway point with a 5-2 record and riding a four-game win streak.

There wasn’t much to cheer other than the weather and the pitching during the game’s first two innings, as Hannah and Decatur’s Pete “Hot Sauce” Sass got off to sharp starts. Calden Nolf led off the game with a ground single up the middle for the Vikings and was promptly picked off.

Lakeside posted the game’s first run in the top of the third, when Decatur’s center fielder failed to track Nick Holt’s one-out shallow fly and let it drop for a hit. Holt stole second but had to hold on Jaelin Sewell’s groundout. Then, Decatur’s first baseman saw Nolf’s low liner squirt right under his glove into right field, and Holt scored.

That run seemed to energize the Viking batters, who seemed poised for a big inning in the fourth. Sean Mootrey led off with a liner off the pitcher’s glove for an infield hit. Michael Malinovsky’s would-be sacrifice bunt down the first base line was so perfectly placed, he beat it out for a hit. Courtesy runner Parker Boyd unfortunately was picked off second, but Sam Sly’s single to right field advanced Malinovsky to third and Sly took second on the throw.

The runners had to hold when Beau McKenna tapped back to the mound. Lakeside did plate Malinovsky on a wild pitch, but after Holt struck out swinging, the Vikings had to ponder what might have been, up 2-0 when it could have been much more.

Meanwhile, Hannah (six innings, five hits, seven strikeouts, two walks) stayed in the groove, allowing only two balls to leave the infield during his outing. His defense backed him up, as second baseman James Knight made a terrific play on a ground ball ranging far to his left in the bottom of the fourth, gunning down the hitter at first.

In the fifth, Nolf worked a one-out walk and Knight followed with a ground single to right. Decatur’s coach opted to lift his starter after he wangled a flyout from Mootrey, and the decision backfired as the next batter Malinovsky shot a two-run double just inches inside of third base.

The Bulldogs managed to pull within 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth thanks to an infield throwing error, a line single to right and a two-out RBI hit deep into the hole between first and second. Then things really got interesting in the seventh, as a tiring Hannah gave up a leadoff dink single over first base and a grounder to Knight’s left that resulted in an infield hit by an eyelash.

Sam Sly came on in relief and promptly gave up a grounder through the middle, but Nolf’s throw home from center field was perfect and Mootrey blocked off home plate like the Great Wall of China. Later, a slow grounder with the bases loaded plated Decatur’s second run, but Sly struck out the last batter looking at two curveballs about which the Bulldog’s coach begged to differ afterward, rather loudly.

Gritty, innings-eating pitching efforts from the entire Vikings staff will be essential over the next week, as the JVs are slated to play five more times over seven days. They will play at Druid Hills at 5 p.m. Thursday the 26th, start a doubleheader at Riverwood High on Saturday the 28th, head over to Dunwoody for a 5:55 first pitch on Monday the 30th and finally return to Wilson Field vs. Tucker at 5 p.m. on Tuesday the 31st.

March 21, 2015 Chamblee at Lakeside

The JV Vikings got back to work over the weekend against a familiar foe and used a similar blue print for success in running their season record to 4-2, dominating the Chamblee Bulldogs by the score of 10-0. The Vikings smartly pieced together early-inning offense, solid pitching and stellar defense with shoddy Bulldog defense to breeze to an easy win. The lopsided victory completed a 2-game, 25-0 whitewashing of Chamblee over consecutive weekends and likely had the Bulldogs pleased to see the purple-clad Norsemen in their rear view mirror as the bus pulled out of the Lakeside parking lot. The squad is clearly hitting their stride mid-season despite continued disruption from a nasty late winter weather pattern.

Sam Sly led a 10-hit Viking attack with 3 hits while James Knight and Mike Malinovsky pitched in with 2 apiece. Sly drove in 3 runs while Parker Boyd and Kiernan Acklin each plated a run. Malinovsky further cemented his ‘Charlie Hustle’ mentality on the base paths with two more stolen bases and generally aggressive base running to put pressure on Bulldog pitchers and catchers.

Evan Fletcher got the win on the bump, shutting out the toothless Bulldogs on 4 hits and 3 strikeouts over his 4 innings of work. Acklin relieved Fletcher and pitched two efficient, hitless innings, putting an exclamation point on the victory by striking out the side in the sixth inning on 11 pitches.

The effective pitching was backed by yet another strong effort with the leather as the defense turned in their third consecutive errorless game. Coincidently, the team has won three consecutive contests. Defensive highlights included a smooth 6-4-3 double play on a slow roller turned by Acklin, Knight and Matthew Rodriguez and a diving catch on a sinking line drive by Malinovsky in centerfield to punctuate the dominant effort put forth in all phases of the game.

The Vikings don’t have long to rest on their recent achievements, returning to action on Tuesday, facing yet another Bulldog squad, this one from Decatur. Bragging rights will be on the line at McKoy Park as many young men from both squads play together/against each other on summer travel teams.

March 14, 2015 – Lakeside at Chamblee

The Lakeside JV Vikings stretched their modest win streak to two games by beating the Chamblee Bulldogs by the not-so-modest score of 15-0. The win capped off a busy week which started as ominous as the recent rainy, cold weather but ended with the team hitting their stride, playing their second consecutive errorless game in the field and pounding the baseball at the dish to the tune of 13 hits from 9 different players. Did I mention the pitching?  It was stellar, as Michael Hannah and Evan Fletcher combined to shut out the Bulldogs, yielding just one hit on the day as the JV squad improved their early season record to 3-2.

The Vikings pretty much put the game away in the 1st inning as five runs crossed the plate on a bases loaded walk to Mike Malinovsky, followed by a bases clearing 3-run double off the bat of Beau McKenna and a run scoring ground ball from Kiernan Acklin. Hannah set the Bulldogs down quietly in the bottom of the inning with a little help from his stout defense, turning a double play following a lead off base on balls.

Sean Mootrey continued his torrid streak of consecutive games of hitting a home run in grand style. In the 2nd inning, Mootrey launched a grand slam deep over the left field fence for his fourth home run in three games and the rout was on. Mootrey added a single earlier in the game to lead the Vikings offense. He was joined by Acklin, James Knight and Jaelin Sewell in the two hit club for the afternoon.

Not to be outdone, the defense supplied several stellar plays to support the strong pitching and hitting effort. The most memorable play, a gem turned in by the right side of the infield as Knight ranged far to his left to nab a hard ground ball ticketed for right field and quickly threw to Sewell who dug the throw out of the dirt and proudly showed his work to the umpire who emphatically rang up the Bulldog base runner, much to the delight of the purple clad fan base.

The Vikings will return to action on Thursday when the Druid Hills Red Devils visit Al Wilson Field for a 5 pm tilt. Bragging rights will be on the line for close neighbors. However, Mother Nature may once again intervene, as rain and colder weather is in the forecast. Sheesh. Enough already.

March 12, 2015 – Lakeside at Tucker

As word gets around DeKalb County about Sean Mootrey (or “manchild,” as one, ahem, overzealous Tucker booster dubbed him) and his wood bat Wonderboy (okay, that last part is just a movie analogy), expect a lot more intentional walks.

Mootrey sent cannon shots high into the left-center field net in his first two at-bats at Tucker High Thursday evening, giving him three dingers in the last two games. In his last two at-bats, Tucker’s coach prudently awarded him first base.

The win snapped a two-game losing street for the Lakeside JVs, evened their season record at 2-2 and sent the boys into Saturday’s 2 p.m. game at Chamblee (assuming that front moving in from Alabama cooperates) on a positive note.

Catcher Mootrey’s two blasts staked the Vikings to a 3-0 lead after 2 1/2 innings. But then lefty starting pitcher Jaelin Sewell, who got through the first two innings with no trouble, ran into problems in the bottom of the third. A Tiger fired a deep three-run homer of his own to left-center, highlighting a five-run inning for Tucker.

Sam Sly relieved Sewell before the inning was out, and was lights-out once he got adjusted, recording seven punch-outs and eight first-pitch strikes over his three-plus innings. Sly’s curve was particularly nasty Thursday, and he turned to it on three consecutive pitches on a couple of occasions.

Good thing, because the Viking offense was sluggish for four innings apart from Mootrey’s outburst. Things started to turn in the bottom of the fifth, as the Vikings got closer with a run even though it could have been a much bigger inning given that the bases were loaded with no outs.

And, the game was decided in the next inning as the middle of the batting order came alive for Lakeside, lining hit after hit off a righty reliever for Tucker. The six runs put Lakeside up 10-5 after six innings, which was when the game was called due to pending darkness.

For the game, Sly and Michael Malinovsky joined Mootrey with two hits each.

March 10, 2015 – Dunwoody at Lakeside

Lakeside got the gaffes from the Stephenson game out of its system for Tuesday’s Dunwoody contest. Unfortunately, one bad habit was repeated: Giving up a big inning early.

Dunwoody’s JVs may be on the small side, but they consistently turned in quality at-bats and worked deep into the count against Lakeside’s pitchers. As a result, they turned aside a late rally and bested our JVs by a 10-6 score at Wilson Field, dropping Lakeside’s record to 1-2.

Kiernan Acklin took the hill (an actual regulation-height pitching mound – Note to Stephenson High: buy a few bags of mound dirt) for the Vikings and yielded a base hit on his first throw. That runner moved to third on a wild pickoff throw and kept running aggressively, scoring when catcher Sean Mootrey threw to first after a dropped strike three.

The Vikings tied things up in their half of the first when Nick Holt belted a long single into the center field gap, stole second and slid home by an eyelash after Mootrey’s bouncer jumped over the shortstop’s glove.

Dunwoody came right back in the second with two one-out singles sandwiched around a stolen base, with center fielder Beau McKenna’s throw home a few feet up the first base line. But, Acklin coaxed two infield grounders with two men on base, keeping the deficit to 2-1 Dunwoody.

At this point, Lakeside’s bats went silent for the next two innings, our boys rapping the ball straight to infielders save for James Knight’s ground single to right in the third. Fortunately, Acklin was hitting his stride, earning a 1-2-3 third inning including a strikeout on a nasty curve and a couple of easy infield outs.

Things went south in the top of the 4th, however. Acklin walked the leadoff hitter and then gave up a line single to center and a double over McKenna’s head. A grounder off the glove of diving third baseman Michael Malinovsky (the first to come off Lakeside’s three-man disabled list) plated another run.

Left fielder Marcus Clark prevented more damage by snagging a liner and making a strong throw home to hold the runners, but then came a dink double just over Malinovsky’s head that practically kicked up chalk on the line, followed by a no-apologies two-bagger over right fielder Evan Fletcher’s head. When righty Michael Hannah relieved Acklin, the Vikings were down 7-1 and Fletcher kept the score there with a diving catch of a low line drive.

The wind seemed to have left Lakeside’s sails, but the coaches and boys deserve credit for regrouping and fighting back at this stage. With one out in the fourth, McKenna singled through the shortstop-third base hole, stole second and third and scored on a wild pickoff throw to first. Later in the inning, Fletcher looped a single to right to score Clark, and two wild pitches then brought him home. Dunwoody’s lead was whittled to 7-4.

Although he had thrown about 40 pitches the night before at Stephenson, Hannah zipped through his first inning on the mound quickly including a strikeout. He then helped himself out on offense in the bottom of the fifth, refusing to be distracted by the PA announcer’s dastardly selection of George Michael walk-up music and grounding a single into right. Then Mootrey shot a howitzer of a two-run homer over the left-center field fence, the only kid in the game using a wood bat connecting with a swing that seemed ridiculously easy. Although McKenna was caught stealing second to end the rally, Lakeside was down only 7-6, and all the momentum was on our side.

Unfortunately, Hannah tired in the sixth. After starting the inning in promising fashion with a three-pitch strikeout, he gave up a walk, an infield single deep into the hole at shortstop and a base hit to right in succession. He struck out the next Dunwoody batter swinging, but then came a walk, a soft single to right and another walk. The four-run inning put the game out of reach, and Lakeside didn’t seriously threaten during its last two tries at bat except for a near-dinger by Malinovsky that hooked foul.

Freshman Matthew Holt did well in his first JV appearance, setting the Wildcats down in order in the seventh.

The young season has hit an unforeseen snag for the Vikings, and our pitchers will need to do a better job eating up innings and minimizing the damage in a bad inning. Hopefully that trend will start Thursday at Tucker (first pitch at 5 p.m.) and continue for Saturday’s 2 p.m. contest at Chamblee.

March 9, 2015 – Lakeside at Stephenson

The Lakeside JVs committed a season’s worth of mental and physical errors during the first three innings at Stephenson Monday evening. So, an early 5-2 lead vanished and was replaced by a 14-6 deficit. Ultimately despite a late comeback, the Vikings got what they deserved with a 14-11 loss, dropping to 1-1 on the young season.

Whatever could go wrong, did whenever the Vikings were on defense early in the game. Jaguar batters would get down two strikes, then wheedle a walk, get a pitch to hit or get hit by a pitch. Wild pitches were delivered with a runner on third. Routine ground-outs were thrown away, an easy fly ball allowed to drop.

Things sure did look good for Lakeside early, though. In the top of the first, James Knight’s double to right field and Kiernan Acklin’s walk brought up catcher Sean Mootrey, who rifled a line drive down the third base line to plate two runs. Moving over to third on Beau McKenna’s groundout, Mootrey faked a steal of home and deked the Stephenson starter into a wild pitch, scoring for a 3-0 lead.

Vikings starting pitcher McKenna retired the first two Jaguar hitters but then came a single just past Knight’s backhand glove at shortstop, a walk and a wild pitch, capped off by an infield throwing error that brought in two runs.

Lakeside would get the two back in the top of the second inning thanks to a walk to Jaelin Sewell, a perfectly struck single by Marcus Clark into a hole abandoned by the shortstop, and two timely infield errors. However, a struggling McKenna saw Stephenson’s leadoff hitter beat out an infield single, delivered a wild pitch and later surrrendered a two-out, two-run double over right fielder Evan Fletcher’s head. The next hitter ripped a ground ball off McKenna’s leg that then was booted around by infield, with a run scoring. He stole second and third and scored on another single to right. The Vikings were down 6-5 after two innings.

Lakeside would knot the score in the top of the third thanks to a booming leadoff double by Mootrey that looked like it was gone off the bat, but which came down at the base of the left-center fence. Groundouts by McKenna and Fletcher brought him in.

However, the bottom fell in on Lakeside during Stephenson’s next at-bat. McKenna surrendered a leadoff double down the third base line, with the hitter scoring after a stolen base and a wild pitch. McKenna hit the next batter, who stole second and scored when a catchable fly to center was misplayed and dropped. On came Sewell in relief, and it wasn’t his night either. A double to deep center, three walks, two hit batsmen, a single over short and an RBI groundout later, the Vikings were staring at an eight-run hole.

Michael Hannah took over on the mound and shut down Stephenson’s offense the rest of the way (four strikeouts and only one hit allowed over three innings), and gradually the Vikings narrowed the deficit. In the fifth, McKenna ripped a two-out single to right, stole second and third and scored on the shortstop’s throwing error.

Lakeside got another run in the sixth as Clark doubled to the left-center gap, Parker Boyd walked and Hannah loaded the bases with a line single to center. A wild pitch brought home a run, but the promise of a huge inning never materialized. The runners had to hold on Knight’s line-out to left, Acklin popped up and, after an intentional walk to Mootrey loaded the bases, McKenna fanned against a relief pitcher.

In the Vikings’ last gasp at the plate, Fletcher and Clark walked and Boyd beat out a grounder to short to drive in a run. Clark scored on a wild pitch, and after unintentional walks to Knight and Acklin, Stephenson’s coach took note of Mootrey’s two doubles and had him intentionally walked with the bases loaded, narrowing the score to 14-11. But, McKenna hit a hard line drive right at the second baseman to end the game.

Weather permitting, the Vikings JVs weren’t given much time to nurse their wounds. They were slated to play Dunwoody at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Wilson Field, then travel to Tucker for a 5 p.m. Thursday contest and cap off a busy week with a visit to Chamblee at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Feb 21, 2015 – Southwest DeKalb at Lakeside

After the first two batters in the bottom of the first, Lakeside’s JV had one out and a runner on third. By the time Southwest DeKalb could record the second out, the score was 12-0 Vikings.

That 15-run bottom of the first frame told all you need to know about the 16-0, 70-minute plastering of the demoralized Panthers at Wilson Field, called after 2 ½ chilly innings under the run rule.

The margin of victory served notice that this will be a very strong Lakeside JV squad loaded with talented sophomores (most of whom also played on JV last year) and representative of the baseball program’s current depth from ninth through 12th grades.

In the bottom of the first, Kiernan Acklin, Sean Mootrey, Beau McKenna and Calden Nolf each struck with RBI doubles. McKenna posted three RBI in the inning, Mootrey and Nolf two each and Acklin one. Evan Fletcher and Jaelin Sewell both ripped run-scoring singles. Toss in seven walks and frequent poor fielding by Southwest DeKalb, and you’d written a recipe for disaster for the visitors.

On defense, righty Michael Hannah eased through three innings on the mound with three strikeouts and one walk, yielding only one hit. The Panther’s sole chance at denting the scoreboard was thwarted by shortstop Acklin, who made a great backhand diving catch of a line drive in the second inning and then doubled a runner off third.

Most of the JV schedule is on the road this year, including the next two games at Decatur on Wednesday the 25th at 5:30 and the next evening at Dunwoody for a 5:55 first pitch. Lakeside baseball owes Dunwoody quite a bit of payback, and hopefully the Wildcats will collect starting Thursday the 26th.


2014 Season Recaps

Apr 22, 2014 – Lakeside @ Dunwoody, DeKalb County JV tournament quarterfinals
The Lakeside JV Vikings promising season came to a grinding halt on Tuesday evening, dropping a 10-3 playoff contest to the Dunwoody Wildcats. The Vikings ended the season with a record of 11-4, a successful campaign by any measure.

Despite taking an early 1-0 lead on a 1st inning RBI single by freshman Michael Malinovsky, the young Vikings found themselves behind 7-1 after 2 innings. Freshman starting pitcher Michael Hannah never got comfortable with the tight strike zone established early on by the home plate umpire.

Sophomore Cole Howard relieved Hannah and pitched effectively, allowing 1 earned run in 4 2/3 innings of work to keep the Vikings within striking distance of the Wildcats. However, Dunwoody’s starting pitcher would have a say in the matter; rebounding after walking the first two batters of the game to retire 14 of the next 15 Viking batters.

Freshman Cooper Bryant broke the string, driving a two-out, fifth inning single into left field for the Vikings second hit of the game, igniting the Vikings offense. Bryant would eventually come around to score on a bases loaded walk to freshman Kiernan Acklin, but a Wildcat reliever escaped the bases loaded jam with a key strikeout.

To their credit, the Vikings never gave up, mounting a late comeback effort as the bats heated up, but several gap shots were run down by the fleet Wildcat outfield, snuffing potential rallies in each of the final two innings. The offense managed four hits in the game, led by Malinovsky’s two singles.

While the season didn’t end as the Vikings planned, they can enter the offseason with their heads held high. The team pulled together quickly to play some very good baseball throughout the season. The Viking fans appreciate all the hard work by the coaches and Dugout Club to put our players in a position to give their best on the field.

Apr 21, 2014 – Cedar Grove @ Lakeside, DeKalb County JV tournament
The first pitch came 90 minutes late Monday evening at Wilson Field, because the school bus that Cedar Grove was expecting didn’t show up. The Saints JVs probably wish they had just stayed home.

The teams could only squeeze in five innings before the umps called the game for darkness, but that was enough time for the Vikings JVs to ease past Cedar Grove, 10 to 5. The first-round victory in the DeKalb County JV tournament set the stage for a contest against Dunwoody on Tuesday, April 22 at Dunwoody High. It wasn’t yet resolved Monday night whether Tuesday’s start time would be 6 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.

Although the Vikings’ pitchers, freshmen Sam Sly and Beau McKenna, weren’t as sharp as they have been, Cedar Grove’s seven errors over five innings and the Vikings’ ability to run at ease on the opposing catcher let Lakeside put the game out of reach early.

After spotting Cedar Grove two runs in the top of the first, freshman James Knight (three hits for the game) led off the Vikings’ half with a single to right, and he capped the inning with a two-RBI hit to right-center. In between, freshman Kiernan Acklin blooped a single to left, three consecutive infield errors plated three Vikings runs, and freshman Marcus Clark earned a bases-loaded walk.

The top of the second was highlighted by the unquestioned defensive play of the year for Lakeside: Sophomore Devan Dauphin laying out full speed to snag a low liner to center field an inch off the grass, then throwing to second base to double off a Cedar Grove runner. It was one of three double-plays turned by the Vikings.

Lakeside would plate two more runs in the second on the same wild pitch, another in the fourth thanks to two stolen bases by freshman Kiernan Acklin and then a passed ball, and an RBI single by Acklin in the fifth.

No question, however, it will be a much tougher challenge for the 11-3 Vikings against Dunwoody, which handed Lakeside one of its three losses in a nailbiter. If the Vikings manage to steal one on the road Tuesday evening, they’ll wrap up their season on Saturday, April 26 in the JV tournament’s final four at Wilson Field.

Apr 3, 2014 – Lakeside at Druid Hills
Revenge is a dish best served cold, and Thursday’s menu featured chilled Red Devil.

Lakeside’s JVs got even for an early season home loss to Druid Hills, whacking the Red Devils by a 10-4 tally on their field. The Vikings’ successful season now stands at a 10-3 record, with another payback opportunity against Dunwoody in the regular season finale after Spring Break.

Our boys played fundamentally solid baseball throughout, except for several baserunning gaffes and issuing too many walks. Essentially, the day (well, evening) was won with a three-run top of the fourth to put Lakeside ahead to stay, a four-run seventh to ice the game, and freshman Michael Hannah’s shutdown work as the closer (1 2/3 innings, four strikeouts, no hits).

Down 3-2 heading into the fourth, the Vikings ramped up the pressure on Druid Hills’ knuckleballer (don’t see many of those in JV ball) James Aiken. Freshman Michael Malinovsky (four hits, two runs scored and an RBI) beat out a grounder to shortstop and then stole second. Freshman Cooper Bryant was hit by a wayward knuckleball, and then Malinovsky took third on a wild pitch and scored on another to tie the game.

After a pitching change, courtesy runner Nick Holt was safe at third on sophomore Logan Neely’s bunt. He scored on sophomore Devan Dauphin’s fielder’s choice grounder, and Dauphin eventually came around to score on a passed ball and back-to-back singles by freshmen Marcus Clark and James Knight. Still more damage could have been inflicted if it weren’t for one of those baserunning blunders, with a groundball leading to a double-play on a rundown. Still, the Vikings led by 5-3.

Freshman Sam Sly went the first four innings on the mound (two hits, three runs), and when he tired freshman Beau McKenna took over (1 1/3 innings, one run). Between them, they walked eight.

With a 6-4 game still up for grabs heading into the seventh, sophomore Cole Howard launched a one-out triple to deep left-center and scored on Malinovsky’s grounder up the middle. Sly was hit by a pitch, and then a walk to Neely sandwiched between a wild pitch and a passed ball scored Malinovsky. Hannah capped the inning with a two-RBI single to left and then he eased through a 1-2-3 inning on the mound, dropping a curve on a batter primed for heat.

The concluding regular season game against Dunwoody is scheduled for Wednesday, April 16 at 5 p.m. at Wilson Field. The Vikings’ first game of the county JV tournament will be against Cedar Grove on Saturday, April 19 at Dunwoody High School; the time of that game and the remainder of the JV tournament schedule are to be determined.

Mar 27, 2014 – Tucker at Lakeside
On a beautiful, Spring-like (finally!!!) 63 degree sunny day, the Lakeside JV Vikings broke open what had been a close game with six runs in the sixth inning to defeat the Tucker Tigers by the score of 11-4. The game featured five ties/lead changes in the first five innings before Lakeside put the game out of reach late. The victory, the fourth straight by the Vikings and the second over the Tigers in four days, increased the team’s season record to 9-3 with two regular season games remaining.

The Vikings put forth a solid effort in all facets of the game – pitching, defense and hitting to overwhelm the Tigers and send the home crowd to the parking lot in a great mood while Pharrell Williams catchy tune “Happy” blared from the P.A. speakers. Indeed, it was a happy group of coaches, parents and players.

Viking pitchers combined for six strikeouts and stranded several Tiger base runners in scoring position throughout the game. Sophomore Devan Dauphin got the start on the mound and battled the Tiger lineup for four effective innings before passing the baton to Freshman Beau McKenna. McKenna earned the win by calmly striking out two batters with a Tiger runner on 3rd in the top of the sixth. Freshman Michael Hannah finished off the game in style with his trademark heat, striking out two batters and getting another to ground out meekly back to the mound.

Not to be outdone, the defense “pitched” in throughout the game to support the cause by turning two double plays to end Tucker scoring threats in the first and fifth innings, while Freshman catcher Sam Sly made his presence felt in the third frame. With runners on the corners in a close 1-1 game, Sly threw out a would be base stealer at second base to strand yet another runner at third base.

The Viking offensive attack made sure the team’s defensive efforts didn’t go to waste by pounding out 9 hits to go with several “productive” outs, finishing off the Tigers in style. Freshman Kiernan Acklin went 3 for 3 at the plate with two doubles, 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs to lead the offensive attack. Sly added 2 hits and a walk, sophomore birthday boy Logan Neely added 2 RBIs and sophomore Cole Howard and freshman Michael Malinovsky each scored 2 runs. In fact, 7 of the 9 players in the starting lineup crossed the plate, a testament to the balanced production quickly becoming a hallmark of this team. Perhaps what was most impressive, the lineup combined for three sacrifice flies – a reflection of the unselfish nature of this team and the understanding of a QAB (quality at bat) on the players’ part.

The young Vikings will look to avenge two of the blemishes on their sterling 9-3 season record with games against Dunwoody and Druid Hills next week. The Wildcats visit Al Wilson Field on Tuesday; first pitch slated for 5 pm. The Red Devils will host the Vikings on Thursday in the regular season finale at John Devore Field (Druid Hills Middle School) also at 5 pm.

Mar 25, 2014 – Southwest DeKalb at Lakeside
Lakeside’s JVs polished off Southwest DeKalb Tuesday evening by a 9-2 count and immediately turned up the heaters in their parents’ cars to full blast. The Vikings had hoped the “in like a lion” days of March were past, but they got the season’s 11th game in on a blue-knuckle evening in which it was tough to control pitches and operate a bat. Fortunately, Lakeside did better at both than the Panthers.

Freshman Michael Hannah got his first start of the season and made the opportunity count, fanning six and yielding just one hit over the first three innings, and striking out the side in the second. Southwest DeKalb had no shot at catching up with his fastball.
His teammates gave Hannah some offensive support in the second. Freshman Michael Malinovsky singled up the middle and then ran the bases aggressively, as he so often does. Malinovsky immediately stole second and then took third on a passed ball, and scored on sophomore Cole Howard’s groundout to third. Later in the inning, sophomore Devan Dauphin, who reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on freshman Cooper Bryant’s single to left-center.

However, the Panthers drew even in the fourth as a leadoff infield error put the Vikings on their heels, especially when that hitter stole second. Following a line single to right and another stolen base, consecutive infield grounders plated runs and tied the game at two.
Lakeside immediately jumped ahead in their half of the fourth as sophomore Logan Neely walked, took two extra bases on wild pitches and scored on freshman Kiernan Acklin’s sacrifice fly to left.

Sophomore Cole Howard took over for Hannah in the fifth and got off to just as impressive a start, dropping curveballs for strike three on the first two batters he faced. Terrific backhand, running catches by Dauphin in centerfield and Jaelin Sewell at first base helped Howard out during his three innings on the mound.

In the fifth, Howard’s two-run single up the middle made it 5-2 Vikings. An inning later, three consecutive walks by a tiring and cold Southwest DeKalb righty, followed by singles from freshman James Knight and sophomore Khaalis King, then freshman Sam Sly’s RBI grounder and a throwing error boosted Lakeside’s advantage to the final 9-2.

Our JVs’ record now stands at an excellent 8-3, with three games remaining in the regular season. The Vikings will be back in action Thursday March 27 at home against Tucker.

Mar 25, 2014 – Lakeside at Tucker
The Vikings’ JV squad got its three-games-in-four-evenings week off to an excellent start Monday, cruising past home squad Tucker 9-4. Our boys’ record now stands at 7-3 for the season, with four regular season contests left before the county JV tournament.
Lakeside needed longevity from its pitchers during this frantic stretch, and freshmen Beau McKenna and Jaelin Sewell came through. Starter McKenna logged five innings (four runs, five strikeouts, two walks), while lefty Sewell wrapped up with two innings of flawless relief (three strikeouts).

Vikings miscues handed Tucker a 2-0 lead after one. Two infield errors (one on a potential inning-ending double play), a walk and an HBP, capped with a wild pitch put Tucker on top without hitting the ball out of the infield. But when Lakeside came up to bat in the top of the second, they wrested the lead back the old fashioned way – they earned it. Sophomores Cole Howard and Devan Dauphin boomed doubles over the center fielder’s head, freshman Kiernan Acklin lined a two-bagger down the left field line, and freshman DH Cooper Bryant shot an RBI single into right-center. That’s four hits in five at-bats, none of them even close to cheap, and a 3-2 Vikings lead.

McKenna kept Tucker off the scoreboard in their half of the second, and then Lakeside’s offense broke the game open in the third. With two outs and freshman Sam Sly on first (ground single to left), Howard, sophomore Logan Neely and Dauphin struck consecutive singles. On Neely’s RBI hit, the right fielder’s error let in another run, and then Tucker’s inability to throw really started costing their team. Their catcher threw past third base on a botched pick-off, and their defense compounded a wild pitch by throwing the ball all over the park afterward, letting Acklin score. It was 8-2 Vikings midway through the third.
The Tigers got a run off McKenna in the third despite sophomore second baseman Khaalis King’s diving stop of a grounder that he kept to an infield single. In the top of the fourth, Lakeside got its final run courtesy of consecutive singles by freshman James Knight, King and Sly, followed by an RBI grounder from freshman Michael Malinovsky.

From there, strong pitching performances from Lakeside’s hurlers and a deceptive Tucker lefty brought the game to a close relatively uneventfully, save for a rare infield interference call on the Vikings in the last inning where our boys were stacked up at second base like planes at Hartsfield during a snowstorm.

Lakeside was back in action Tuesday, March 25 for a 5 p.m. home game with Southwest DeKalb. Tucker comes to our field Thursday, March 25 for another 5 p.m. first pitch.

Mar 22, 2014 – Lakeside at Chamblee
Lakeside’s JVs visited one of our nation’s hallowed baseball venues Saturday, the tradition-laden Sequoyah Middle School ballfield. Not letting the historic surroundings unnerve them, the Vikings spanked Chamblee High for the second time this season, leaving with a 12-4 victory and a 6-3 record for the season.

This one was all but over after the top of the first, when Lakeside jumped out to a 6-0 lead at Chamblee’s temporary home during school reconstruction. Freshmen Michael Malinovsky and Cooper Bryant each grounded RBI singles to right field, another run came in one on of the Bulldogs’ nine errors for the game, two more scored on wild pitches and freshman Kiernan Acklin plated a run with a groundout. Plus, five Vikings drew walks during the inning from a struggling Chamblee lefty. You get the picture.

Meanwhile, freshman Sam Sly doffed the catcher’s gear for a start on the mound, during which he couldn’t seem to get back into the dugout fast enough. He retired the first six Bulldogs faced, striking out three and effectively mixing sharp curves with his fastball.
A hard-throwing righty pitcher, Nate Woodruff, stabilized things for a time for Chamblee, but Lakeside nicked him for a run in the third (singles by freshman Marcus Clark and Acklin, then an error by the Bulldogs’ second baseman). The roof fell in for Chamblee in the top of the fourth, when Malinovsky and Clark both beat out infield grounders for singles. Two infield errors, two passed balls, a wild pitch and an HBP spelled three more runs for the Vikings and the Bulldogs’ doom.

Meanwhile, Sly lost a bit of his edge in the third inning when he walked three Bulldogs yet let none of them score. Sly picked a runner off first and Malinovsky ended the inning by nicely snaring a groundball moving to his right. Sly finally yielded his first hit in the fourth and a run in the fifth. In the sixth, Chamblee started to hit the ball more solidly, as sophomore Logan Neely gave up a hard double and a ground single and three runs. It could have been a much easier inning for Neely had the Vikings not dropped an outfield fly and botched a routine throw to first base. Freshman closer Michael Hannah closed out the seventh with little trouble, getting help from freshman second baseman Calden Nolf, who snagged a shallow fly and doubled a runner off first.

The busy three-game week planned for the JV Vikings was delayed by the Tucker rainout, so now it begins at 5 p.m. Monday, March 24 at Tucker High. The Vikings come back home the next night to play Southwest DeKalb at 5 p.m., and stay at Wilson Field for a return game with Tucker at 5 p.m. Thursday

Mar 20, 2014 – Lakeside at Dunwoody
The Lakeside JV Vikings dropped a see-saw affair to the Dunwoody Wildcats by the score of 5-4 on Thursday, moving the squad’s season record to 5-3. The teams battled each other to 9 different tie score/lead changes in the contest; the outcome remained in doubt until the Wildcats pushed across a late run in the bottom of the 6th inning and held off the Vikings to gain the win.

Lakeside jumped on top in the 1st inning by scoring a run without the benefit of a hit. Freshman Sam Sly drew a 2-out walk and freshman pinch runner Nick Holt advanced to third on a dropped fly ball off the bat of sophomore Cole Howard. Holt then deftly stole home on an ill-advised pickoff attempt of Howard at 1st base and the Vikings found themselves on top 1-0.

Sophomore Devan Dauphin took the mound to face the Wildcats in the bottom of the inning and was backed by a solid defensive play to escape the inning tied 1-1. Freshman James Knight fielded a base hit in right centerfield and promptly threw out the Wildcat batter trying to stretch the hit into a double. On the same play, sophomore Khaalis King, after applying the tag at 2nd, wheeled and caught the lead runner wandering too far off of 3rd base to complete the rare 8-4-5 double play.

The teams traded runs in the 2nd inning to keep the score tied and Dunwoody took their first lead of the game in the bottom the 3rd scoring an unearned run. The Wildcat lead-off batter reached base on a ground ball error and came around to score on a seeing-eye single perfectly placed over King’s outstretched glove into right centerfield. Freshman Beau McKenna would relieve Dauphin with two outs in the inning and stranded a couple Wildcat players on base by throwing an inning-ending ground out.

The Vikings would tie the score (a recurring theme) in the top of the 4th on a RBI groundout by McKenna scoring sophomore Logan Neely who led off the inning with a single.  Dunwoody catcher Paul Gies kept the game close by throwing out two Viking would-be base stealers in the inning. Gies would also catch another Viking base runner wandering too far off of second base later in the game. The plays would loom large in the game as the Vikings had solved the Wildcat starting pitcher and were stringing together several line drive base hits. Despite out hitting the Wildcats 8 to 7 and playing better defense, the Vikings never led the game after the 2nd inning.

Give the team and coaching staff credit; they used “all the arrows in their quiver” with the aggressive base running strategy and a little “small ball” in the later innings, moving runners into scoring position with sacrifice bunts. However, Dunwoody’s relief pitcher made the clutch pitches when necessary and the Wildcats took the contest by the slimmest of margins.

The boys won’t have much time to dwell on the defeat. The young Vikings will visit the Chamblee Bulldogs on Saturday @ Sequoyah Middle School. Gametime is 11 am. Chamblee will be looking to avenge a 13-2 mercy rule loss to Lakeside two weeks ago. Our boys will look to start another winning streak, so come out and support the team!

Mar 15, 2014 – Riverwood at Lakeside, doubleheader
Be judicious with that concession food at Wilson Field, folks – it apparently can induce drowsiness.

As sharp and focused on defense as Lakeside came out for game one of Saturday’s twin bill, that keen edge seemed to vanish after several victorious Viking JVs ran to the concession stand to fill their bellies before the second game. The boys played flatter than week-old Big K cola, resulting in a split with the visiting Raiders. The doubleheader ended the first half of Lakeside’s 2014 regular season, with the Vikings’ overall record standing at a solid 5-2.

As Lakeside families arrived at Wilson Field, they were greeted by beautiful early spring weather, their boys warming up, the umps ready to go – but no opponent. Yes, it was the dreaded “doubleheader double-booking syndrome”: Both schools had scheduled the games as home contests. Rejecting any appeasement policy, the Lakeside coaches stood firm and forced Riverwood to admit the goof was theirs, so it was their crowd that had to jump into cars and hit the top end of 285.

As game one got started about an hour late, sophomore starting pitcher Devan Dauphin clearly would let no delay rattle him. His curve ball was breaking as close to 12-6 as you’ll ever see in JV ball and was mixed with effectively spotted fastballs, as he scattered three hits over three shutout innings (with two strikeouts).

Meanwhile, Riverwood had countered with a hard-throwing righty who seemed to suffer arm discomfort and trouble finding the strike zone, starting in the bottom of the second. Sophomore Cole Howard walked, took second on a passed ball and advanced to third on freshman Michael Malinovsky’s groundout to the right side. Sophomore Logan Neely’s sharp ground single to left plated the game’s first run.

He advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then came three straight walks to freshman Kiernan Acklin, sophomore Chandler Fitts and freshman Marcus Clark. A third run came in on freshman James Knight’s lineout to deep center, and Riverwood changed pitchers.
But, a 3-0 lead would be more than enough for Lakeside’s pitching staff in this contest, even though Dauphin tired a bit in the fourth and surrendered a run on an opposite-field double to left, a ground single past third base and a ground ball that SS Neely fortuitously fumbled directly to sophomore 2B Khaalis King, who sprawled and tagged second base with his hand for a force out.

Freshmen relief pitchers Beau McKenna (fifth and sixth innings) and Michael Hannah (seventh) made quick work of the Raider batters the rest of the way, neither surrendering a hit and each recording a strikeout and a walk. Game one went to the good guys, 3-1.
However, as noted earlier, the Vikings’ energy level seemed off as they took the field for game two, during which they’d post just one hit (Knight’s leadoff pop single to right) and no runs until the last inning.

Starting pitcher Neely got down by a run in the first inning when he loaded the bases via a hit, hit batsman and walk, at which point an infield error scored the run. Two walks, two wild pitches, an HBP and a sacrifice fly added up to two more runs off Neely in the third without benefit of a Riverwood hit.

King relieved Neely in the fourth and got out of a bases-loaded jam when Acklin at 3B snared a line drive moving to his left, but two bloop hits and a walk set the stage for a two-run Raider single in the fifth. Two ground singles and a stolen base, compounded by an outfield error, nicked Howard for a sixth run in inning six, although the Vikings contained the damage when King gunned down a runner at the plate trying to score on another hit. Wild pitches sandwiched around a single off Hannah in the seventh had the Vikings on the wrong end of a 7-0 score.

Our JVs’ bats were in deep freeze pretty much the entirety of game two, and the boys were having a lot of trouble timing a Riverwood righty with breaking stuff and a slow-throwing lefty. Lakeside didn’t dent the scoreboard until a line single to left-center by McKenna with two outs in the seventh, followed by an infield throwing error and freshman Sam Sly’s RBI grounder into right. Final score: 7-1 Riverwood.

Mar 13, 2014 – Columbia at Lakeside

The Lakeside JV Vikings scored a come-from-behind, walk-off victory over the Columbia Eagles by the score of 6-5 to improve their 2014 season record to 4-1. The entertaining, back and forth affair was in doubt until the final pitch, and the Vikings ended it in dramatic fashion without the benefit of a hit in the final frame. Freshman Michael Malinovsky led off the inning and hustled his way around the bases, “wearing one” for the team to reach first on a hit batsman, swiping second base on the next pitch, advancing to third and eventually scoring the game’s final run on wild pitches.

Freshman Sam Sly took the mound in the first inning and worked his way out of an early jam, shaking off a lead off single and a walk to strand runners at second and third by blowing a called third strike by a Columbia batter. Sly effectively used his fastball and off speed pitches to keep Columbia’s hitters off balance for four plus innings.

The Vikings broke through in the 3rd inning to take a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Cole Howard drove in the game’s first run on a shot ticketed for centerfield, however Columbia’s shortstop ranged far to his left to snag the ball and get the out at first base. Freshman Calden Nolf scored on the play.

The Vikings played solid defense behind Sly through 3 innings turning in several strong individual efforts, led by two outstanding plays by Sophomore Khaalis King. However, the Eagles took advantage of a defensive miscue to score an unearned run in the 4th and put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Once again, Sly battled and helped himself out with a strikeout/caught stealing double play in which he covered the plate and deftly tagged the runner out to end the threat and keep the score tied at 1.

Lakeside rode the momentum gained from the double play to take a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Cooper Bryant laced a 2 run double to left center field, his second solid hit of the game to lead the Vikings 8 hit offensive effort on the day. There’s no doubt that several quality at bats from Viking hitters early in the game, working deep counts, leading to an increased pitch count and the tiring of Columbia’s starting pitcher in the inning.

The lead would be short lived as two Viking fielding miscues in the top of the fifth would result in four unearned runs and a 5-3 deficit. Sophomore Cole Howard relieved Sly and kept the Vikings within striking distance.
Lakeside tied the score at 5 in the bottom of the inning on a run scoring double driven deep to left field by Sophomore Devan Dauphin and a run scoring ground ball by Sophomore Logan Neely.

Howard took care of business the rest of the way, keeping the Eagles off the scoreboard to earn the win, assisted by a stellar defensive play in the final inning by Freshman Jaelin Sewell who picked a low throw out of the dirt at first base to prevent a run and set the stage for Malinovsky’s late game heroics.

The homestand continues Saturday when Riverwood visits Wilson Field for a twinbill starting at 11 a.m.  In the immortal words of Cub great Ernie Banks, “let’s play two!”

Mar 8, 2014 – Chamblee at Lakeside
With St. Patrick’s Day still nine days away, the Vikings JV led a premature charmed existence on this Saturday.

Early spring sunshine and warmth returned, seemingly every ball struck by our boys found an outfield gap or the deepest part of the infield holes, Chamblee’s walks and errors came at the worst possible time for their team, and Lakeside hung four-spots in both of the first two innings.

The end result was a 13-2, five-inning, run-rule pasting of Chamblee, boosting our JV’s record to 3-1. Sophomore and starting pitcher Devan Dauphin breezed through four innings, scattering six hits that rarely brought him any trouble.

Sophomore Logan Neely led the 13-hit offense with two hits and an RBI groundout, driving in four runs total. Freshman Michael Malinovsky routed his three hard ground balls perfectly, putting two infield hits deep in the hole at short and sending another up the middle that the Chamblee second baseman couldn’t handle, with two runs scoring.

In the first inning, a pop single to right by freshman James Knight leading off was followed by a stolen base and then a walk to freshman Sam Sly. Sophomore Cole Howard lined a single up the middle, loading the bases for Malinovsky’s two-run hit. RBI groundouts by Neely and freshman Calden Nolf had Chamblee reeling early and the Vikings up 4-1 after one.

While a couple of hits got Chamblee within two in the top of the second, a couple of poorly timed errors essentially doomed the Bulldogs in the bottom of the inning. Neely lined a two-run single to left, and Nolf’s solidly hit fly to center was misplayed, with two more Vikings scoring.

Freshman Marcus Clark’s booming double to deep left in the third, and hard singles by Neely and sophomore Khaalis King in the fourth didn’t dent the scoreboard, but the Vikings piled on again in the fifth. Sly straightened out a curve ball for an RBI single to right, and later Neely walked and King was hit by a pitch, both with the bases loaded. Freshman Beau McKenna, who relieved Dauphin in the fifth and had an easy inning on the mound, ended the game by looping a two-run single to center, triggering the mercy rule.

An early season home stand for the Vikings continues Thursday, March 13 when Columbia visits for a 5 p.m. game, and then a doubleheader vs. Riverwood starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 15 at Wilson Field. While the Chamblee game started a mere 5 minutes early, don’t forget that umpires love to get JV games going ahead of schedule.

Mar 3, 2014 – Lakeside at Decatur

As the Lakeside JVs fell behind early at Decatur’s McKoy Field Tuesday evening, questions rippling through the crowd of nervous Lakeside parents included: What clown issued the weather forecast calling for high 50s and sunny that afternoon? Do you have to be a meteorologist to make predictions that flawed? Should I point my son down that career path?
Suffice it to say, the boys, their parents and friends were NOT treated to a pleasant 55-degree late winter evening. It was foot-stomping, do I still have an extra blanket in the back of the car, wish I had a thermos of coffee spiked with something frowned upon at youth sporting events, why is the Decatur shortstop wearing a hoodie on the field COLD.
Fortunately, down on the field, the Vikings’ offense thawed in the late innings to the tune of a 19-14 victory, a football-like score appropriate for an evening that evoked Lambeau Field (by Atlanta standards, anyway). The JVs’ record stands at 2-1 for the young 2014 season.
Lakeside posted five runs in the top of the second inning to take a 5-1 lead, only to see sophomore starting pitcher Logan Neely suffer through a rough bottom half of the frame, as Decatur strung together several solid hits and a seven-run response to the Vikings. After three innings, the home Bulldogs were up 9-5.
The Vikings faithful were getting a little nervous, but then freshman Sam Sly came through with the game’s biggest hit in the top of the 4th, a bases-clearing triple that tied the game at 9. The Decatur left field tried for a diving catch on Sly’s sinking line drive, a decision he would regret as the ball skipped past him to the fence.
From there, the Vikings would put the game away with a combined 10 runs in the fifth and sixth, fusing timely hitting with Decatur’s generosity in the form of walks and hit batsmen. The relief pitchers, freshman Jaelin Sewell and sophomore Devan Dauphin, were nicked only a bit by the Bulldogs, and freshman Michael Hannah closed out a scoreless seventh (although, true to form with this game, the bases were loaded with Decatur’s best hitter on deck when he coaxed the final pop-up).
Lakeside rediscovered the hitting that went away in the previous game vs. Druid Hills, banging out 14 hits over seven innings. Freshmen James Knight (3 hits) and Sly continued their early season strong performance at the plate, sophomore Chandler Fitts laced two more singles, and freshmen Kiernan Acklin and Keegan Schimmelman lined solid hits. Decatur didn’t seem to want to have anything to do with the eighth spot in Lakeside’s batting order, as freshmen Myles Deuett and Beau McKenna combined for six walks in six trips.
On the debit side of the equation, cold hands and early season rust contributed to seven errors for the game by the Vikings fielders. It was a tough evening to be a pitcher or catcher, and one where the boys would really feel an HBP.
Let’s hope for warm sunshine when the JV next swings into action, on Saturday, March 8 vs. Chamblee at Lakeside’s Wilson Field. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m., but based on the umpiring crews’ propensity for starting games early so far this season, you may want to show up 15 minutes early.

Mar 1, 2014 – Druid Hills at Lakeside

The Lakeside Vikings JV squad opened up the home portion of the 2014 schedule against next door neighbor Druid Hills on a cool Saturday March afternoon. The young Vikings fought hard, but eventually dropped a 9-6 decision to the Red Devils to even their early season record at 1-1. The seesaw affair featured five different lead changes before the Red Devils finally put the game away late. Druid Hills outhit the Vikings 10-4 and both teams exhibited early season defensive rust, combining for 10 errors.

Sophomore Cole Howard took the mound and set down the Red Devils quietly in the first inning, striking out the lead-off hitter and getting help from Freshman catcher Sam Sly, who threw out a would be base stealer. The Vikings made some noise in the bottom of the inning, but came away empty and the game was scoreless through one frame.

Druid Hills took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 2nd, scoring an unearned run
on a Viking error, a ground out and a single.  The Vikings were undeterred and plated three unearned runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to take their first lead of the game 3-1, highlighted by a RBI bases loaded walk to Freshman James Knight and Sophomore Khaalis King’s 2 RBI single to centerfield. King was the offensive star of the game with one hit, two walks, two RBI, one run scored and 3 stolen bases.

Druid Hills retook the lead in the third inning, with three solid hits and a hit batsman to score 4 runs in the frame. Freshman Beau McKenna relieved Howard and struck out two Red Devils to keep the game close, 5-3. Lakeside got one run back in the bottom of the inning as Freshman Michael Malinovsky reached base via error and stole second base. Sly’s single drove in Malinovsky, who jarred the ball loose from the catcher to bring the Vikings within one run.

McKenna yielded a lead-off single to begin the 4th, but quickly retired the side with help from a nice play at third by Malinovsky. The stout defensive play gave the Vikings a boost in the home half of the inning and they scored two runs without the benefit of a hit, taking advantage of two Red Devil errors to jump back in front 6-5.

That would be their last lead of the day, however as the Red Devils strung together five hits in the fifth and sixth innings to score four runs and finish the scoring.

The JV Vikings will be back in action Monday night at Decatur at 5 pm. The next home game will be Saturday March 8, at 11 am against Chamblee.

Feb. 27, 2014 – Lakeside at Berkmar
Hopefully as the Vikings JV boarded the bus for the ride home Thursday evening, the boys realized their remaining games won’t be this easy. Lakeside jumped all over an outmatched Berkmar JV, 20 to 1 in a short four-inning contest.
Walks and errors, sandwiched around timely hits, ensured that numerous Vikings crossed home plate. Berkmar kicked the ball around to the tune of 11 errors over four innings, with misplays on just about every conceivable situation. The Vikings took extra bases at will between steals and wild pitches.
Meanwhile, the Lakeside pitching was comparatively flawless, not giving up a hit or run until the game’s final inning. Starter Devan Dauphin breezed through two innings, Jaelin Sewell  notched two swinging strikeouts in the third, and Michael Hannah’s fastball frequently had the Patriots at his mercy in the fourth.
On offense, the Vikings picked up 10 hits for the contest, including two apiece by Sam Sly, Cole Howard and Michael Malinovsky. Sly also drove in two runs, as did Khalis King with a ground-ball single up the middle in the second.
The two most impressive hits were James Knight’s third-inning double over the center fielder’s head and Keegan Schimmelman’s crushed liner that Berkmar’s left-fielder grabbed with a desperate backward lunge.
On defense, Lakeside wasn’t tested often, but a first-inning double play and catcher Sly’s strong throw to halt a would-be steal at third helped avoid any trouble. Also, Cooper Bryant, in at catcher in the fourth inning, gets hustle points for scrambling after a wild pitch in hopes of preserving a shutout.
The JV players, their families and fans no doubt should expect a much tougher outing in the Vikings’ home opener against neighborhood rival Druid Hills. First pitch is at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 1 at Lakeside.

Apr 26, 2013 – Lakeside vs Stephenson – Dekalb County Championship
The Lakeside Viking JV team is the Dekalb County Runner-up for 2013. The Vikings finished the season with a strong run through the playoffs, but they finally fell to the Stephenson Jaguars by a final score of 10-3. The Jaguars took down every team they faced this season, wrapping up an impressive 17-0 record.

Will Cosby was the starting pitcher for the Vikings and gave a performance that should have had much better results. Unfortunately, the solid defense that the Vikings displayed over the previous three games disappeared after some baffling umpire decisions seemed to unravel everyone. The Vikings will not blame the loss on bad umpiring or being shorthanded; we still had every chance to win and certainly made the undefeated Jaguars nervous, especially early on. By the time Cosby finished his three innings, he had allowed 6 runs, but only one run was earned. He easily should have been in line for the win after allowing only four hits to such a solid team.

Lakeside allowed Stephenson to jump to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second by offering them two unearned runs. The Vikings, undeterred, came back to take the lead with three runs in the top of the third. Jonathan Cooper started the inning with a line drive to right, then Michael Boden reached base when the shortstop booted his hard hit ground ball. After Khaalis King advanced the runners with a nice sacrifice bunt, Cosby walked to load the bases. Jaret Barr plated the first run for the Vikings when he pulled a single to right. It appeared that two runs scored on the play, but Boden was called out despite resting on home plate when the tag was finally applied. The Vikings shook it off and continued fighting as Joe Fiorenza drew a two out walk. Grant Gibbons then drove a single to center to bring home two more runs and provide Lakeside with the 3-2 lead.

The bottom of the third inning started in routine fashion as the first batter grounded out to Weston Warncke at third base. At this point, the game completely unraveled for Lakeside. The next Stephenson batter hit a fly ball to right that was caught on a nice play by Parker Raymond for what appeared to be the second out. Unfortunately, the field umpire must have thought the ball was going to drop and did not bother to watch and see if it was caught. After the plate umpire ruled that batter was safe because he heard the ball bounce, the Vikings never recovered. Stephenson went on to score four runs (only one “earned” if you count the fly ball to right as a “hit”), and the well-coached Jaguars never relinquished their 6-3 lead.

In the championship game, King led the Vikings with two hits, and Gibbons had two RBI. Cole Howard, Drew Teachout, and Boden closed out the game on the mound. The Jaguars barely outhit the Vikings by a 10-7 margin, but it seemed much closer than that. The Viking defense that had carried the team during the playoffs offered up a very uncharacteristic six errors in the championship game.

Overall, the Vikings finished with a record of 11-5-1 (7-3-1 league). During the run to the County Championship in particular, the Lakeside JV team pulled together to play some very good baseball. The Viking fans appreciate all the hard work by the coaches and Dugout Club to put our players in position to give their best on the field. For the season, the hitting leaders for the Vikings include Jonathan Cooper (.426 AVE, .569 OBA, 11 RBI, 22 R); Cameron Hearn (.406 AVE, .565 OBA, 18 RBI, 11 R); Michael Boden (.404 AVE, .452 OBA, 13 R); Khaalis King (.500 AVE, .571 OBA); Jaret Barr (.475 OBA, 13 RBI, 19 R); Joe Fiorenza (.449 OBA); Weston Warncke (10 RBI); Will Cosby (.400 OBA); and Parker Raymond (.400 OBA). Pitching leaders include Jaret Barr (4-1, 0.84 ERA, 0.84 WHIP); Cole Howard (3-1, 3.87 ERA, 1.58 WHIP); Grant Gibbons (3-1, 1.38 WHIP); Drew Teachout (3.00 ERA, 1.64 WHIP); Weston Warncke (2.80 ERA, 1.4 WHIP); and Will Cosby (13 K, 3.73 ERA).

Apr 25 – Miller Grove @ Stephenson vs Lakeside – Semi Finals
The Lakeside Vikings JV team earned the right to defend its reign as County Champs by soundly defeating Miller Grove in the semi-final contest by the score of 6-0. The championship game will be Friday night a 5pm at Sequoyah Middle School against Stephenson.

Jaret Barr pitched a complete game three-hit shutout to lead the Vikings to victory. Barr efficiently “pitched to contact” as he relied on the strong Viking defense to blank Miller Grove. Barr needed only 81 pitches over 7 innings, offered one walk, and did not strike out a batter until he whiffed the first two batters in the last inning. The win raised Barr’s record to 4-1 on the year, and his season ERA dropped to 0.84.

Defensively, Michael Boden handled four hard hit balls to second base, Weston Warncke handled three grounders at third, and Barr took care of four hit back to the mound. Jonathan Cooper also ran down four drives to center field, and Alan Hardeman made a nice play to grab a foul ball in right. The defensive gem of the day came at shortstop, when Logan Neely snatched a 6th inning line drive then doubled off a runner at first, squelching Miller Grove’s only rally.

Lakeside displayed some power in the first inning when Boden launched a triple and, with two outs, Cameron Hearn drove him in with another triple to the right center gap. That proved to be the only run that the Vikings would need, but they slowly added a few more for good measure. Hearn drove in Boden again in the third inning when he hit a hard grounder that the shortstop couldn’t handle.

The Vikings added a third run in the fifth inning when Cooper singled, stole second, then scored on a line drive to right by Khaalis King. Lakeside put the game away with three more runs in the sixth. Joe Fiorenza walked to start the inning, then Grant Gibbons singled to right and advanced to second as pinch runner Devan Dauphin went first to third. Warncke singled to left to drive in both runs. Boden doubled to center to drive in the final run. Boden and Warncke both ended with two hits for Lakeside, and both of Boden’s shots went for extra bases.

Lakeside players were physically banged up during the game, and several had to leave the game with (hopefully) minor injuries. The team nevertheless pulled together and prevailed, which means that only one big game remains for the season. We look forward to seeing all Viking fans at Sequoya Middle School at 5pm Friday to support the quest for the second consecutive county championship.

Apr 23 – Cedar Grove @ Lakeside – 2nd Round of Tournament
It was an exciting, nail-biting contest the entire two hours when Lakeside finally edged out Cedar Grove 6-5 to allow our boys to move onto the JV Semi-Final Game.

Cole Howard had a strong start for the Vikings going five innings, allowing two runs but only one of them earned.  Howard threw 67% strikes and had many of the batters boggled with his curve ball; he struck out six.  Grant Gibbons came in relief in the sixth inning and finished the game with the win.  Gibbons was throwing well but Cedar Grove’s team came through with a couple of runs playing small ball.

Today felt like a day that the Vikings would not be denied.  Each time Cedar Grove tied or as in the case in the seventh inning went ahead, Lakeside kept “fighting and clawing” to score enough runs to take the lead and eventually win.  Offensively, although Cedar Grove had 10 hits versus Lakeside’s 7, Lakeside really capitalized on a couple of defensive miscues as well as had some aggressive base running and well executed hits.

The Vikings came out the gate quickly in the first inning scoring two runs with two outs.  Will Cosby reached first on a fielder’s-choice, stole second base and scored on a line drive single by Cameron Hearn.  Cameron stole second and scored on a bloop single by Jaret Barr where three Cedar Grove players watched it fall in short left field.  Cedar Grove scored one run in the top of the second and third innings to tie the game.  The fourth inning was scoreless for both teams.

Lakeside came up in the fifth inning and it looked like it was going to be a quick/low pitch count for the Cedar Grove starter when we had two line shots snagged by the defense when Cosby drew a walk.  Will had an aggressive lead on first and advanced to second on a wild pitch, he saw the catcher couldn’t find the ball and kept running to third.  When the catcher picked up the ball and made a throw to third, his throw went wild and Will scored to put the Vikings back on top 3-2.

Cedar Grove was relentless and squeezed out a run in the top of the sixth to tie it back up and it was Lakeside’s turn.  Jaret led off the inning and swung at a pitch that was just at the top of his shoes but it went straight up the middle for a single.  Jaret easily stole second on the first pitch.  Khaalis King laid a nice bunt down the first base line and was surprised that the pitcher and first baseman both went for the ball and nobody was covering first…so, Khaalis not only did his job to move Jaret to third, he got a single out of it.  Khaalis stole second base and the Vikings were in a good position to have a big inning.  Joe Fiorenza came up to bat and drew a walk and we had bases loaded.  Weston Warncke came up to bat and hit a sacrifice fly to right center field and collected an RBI as Jaret scored the go-ahead run to make it 4-3.  Unfortunately, that was all the Vikings could muster in the bottom of the sixth.

Cedar Grove came up with the top of their order up and got the first two guys on base with both of them scoring, pulling ahead 5-4.  Lakeside had their top of the order coming up and after gathering the team together, Coach Johnson told the boys to “win it with a walk-off.”  Well, that’s just what they did.  Jonathan Cooper drew a lead-off walk, Michael Boden singled to left, Will Cosby was hit by a pitch and we had bases loaded.  Jaret came up to bat with one out and hit a fly to right field, the right fielder saw “Coop” tagging up and was preparing to throw the ball before he caught it and dropped the ball…everyone was safe and the game was tied 5-5 with Khaalis up to bat.  The Vikings dugout was as loud as it has been all year cheering for something good to happen.  Khaalis took a fastball and drove a line shot to left field to have the “walk-off” hit.

Lakeside won the game and is going to the semi-finals which will be played at Stephenson High School Thursday night at 6::45.

Apr 21 – Lakeside @ Cedar Grove vs ML King – First Round of Tournament
Lakeside Vikings JVs began the 2013 JV playoffs in dominant style by blanking the M.L. King Lions 6-0 on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Cedar Grove.

Jaret Barr was almost perfect on the mound as he tossed a complete game one-hit shutout. The first batter of the game lobbed a dying quail into right field, then Barr did not allow another hit all day. Barr mixed his pitches masterfully, completing the game with six strikeouts and one walk. Barr threw 68% strikes to improve his record to 3-1 on the season, with a 1.17 ERA.

The Vikings had a somewhat slow start offensively as several hard line drives found the gloves of the Lions early on. Lakeside finally got on the board with a run in the fourth inning as Will Cosby was hit by a pitch, sacrificed to second on a bunt by Barr, then scored on a two-out grounder to third by Khaalis King that was too hot to handle.

The Vikings got a little more breathing room in the fifth inning. Jonathan Cooper walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a dropped third strike. After Cosby reached on an error and Cameron Hearn drew a walk to load the bases, Barr recorded a painful RBI by getting hit for the seventh time this year. King then drove in his second run of the day with a base hit to left. Joe Fiorenza followed up with a line drive to center that drove in Barr.

Lakeside concluded the scoring in the sixth inning when Grant Gibbons reached on a base hit and Cooper ripped a double to right center to bring him around.

On the day, Cooper and King led the Vikings at the plate with two hits apiece. With the gloves, Cooper also turned in a defensive gem by diving for a line drive to center to rob a base hit in the second inning. Cosby chased down a shot hit over his head in left field in the fourth. Catcher Fiorenza gunned down the only runner who attempted to steal a base against the Vikings.

The Vikings continue the next round of playoffs by taking on the Cedar Grove Saints on their home field next Tuesday at 5pm.

Apr 2 – Lakeside @ Dunwoody
Sometimes you have one of those baseball games that it’s better to forget.  Tuesday night was one of those games for Lakeside Vikings JV, as we dropped a game at Dunwoody 11-5.

Dunwoody jumped out to an early lead with a four run second inning.  The Viking fans finally had something to cheer about as Lakeside fought back to tie the game in the top of the third.  Khaalis King started the inning with a single to center.  Grant Gibbons walked and, after a strikeout, Jonathan Cooper loaded the bases by hustling out an infield single.  Lakeside got on the board by scoring a run on an errant pickoff attempt.  After another strikeout, the Vikings had two outs and the rally appeared to be in trouble.  Cameron Hearn then drove a triple right, bringing home two more runs.  During the next at-bat, Hearn found himself in a rundown off third, but he pulled a Reggie Jackson and let the ball hit him in the hip, which allowed him to score the game-tying run.  Another strikeout ended the rally.

Unfortunately, the three hits in the third inning were the only hits the Vikings could muster all day.  In fact, Hearn and King were the only starters who did not strike out against Dunwoody’s big lefty Kevin Smith.  Starting pitcher Will Cosby helped himself by drawing a bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning, but that was the last run the Vikings could push across.  Cosby did not receive much defensive support either.  In his three innings on the mound, he allowed nine total runs, but only four of the runs were earned.

Weston Warncke relieved Cosby on the mound, and the Viking defensive woes continued.  Warncke allowed two runs in his two innings but both were unearned.   Drew Teachout pitched the last inning, giving up one hit but no runs.

Lakeside’s next game could be Thursday at Tucker, provided all weather forecasters are wrong.  Otherwise, the Vikings will have to live with this one until the tournament begins on April 20 at Cedar Grove.  All Viking fans should put that date on your calendars now.

Mar 30 – Lakeside @ Columbia
The Lakeside JV team redeemed itself on Saturday by crucifying Columbia JV 13-2, improving its overall record to 8-3-1.

The Vikings never surrendered the lead after crossing the plate in the first inning.  Jonathan Cooper led off the game by ripping a double, and Michael Boden followed with a base hit.  Cooper scored the first run on a sacrifice fly by Cameron Hearn.

With two outs in the second inning, the same sluggers did more damage.  Cooper started the two out magic with a walk, then Boden singled.  Hearn drove them in with a double, and the Vikings took a 3-0 lead.

The lead was enough for Cole Howard, who took the mound and got the win for Lakeside. Howard allowed two runs over five innings, striking out two, walking one and allowing only three hits to a powerful Columbia team.  Logan Neely closed out the game by pitching a perfect last inning.

After Columbia trimmed Lakeside’s lead to 3-2, the Vikings exploded for 10 runs in the top of the fifth inning.  Grant Gibbons began the inning the right way with a hard single to the hole.  Cooper drew a key walk, and Boden laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to put both insurance runs in scoring position.  Hearn walked to load the bases, and Will Cosby ripped a deep sacrifice fly to drive home the first run of the inning.  Jaret Barr pulled a two out single to right to bring in two more insurance runs.

After Columbia changed pitchers, Lakeside put the game away.  Joe Fiorenza crushed a shot down the left field line that would have been out of any other park, but the extended fence at Columbia held him to a double that scored Barr.  After Khaalis King and Weston Warncke drew walks to load the bases again, Gibbons watched ball four to force home another run.  Cooper followed with an opposite field two-RBI single.  Devin Dauphin followed with a pinch-hit RBI single to center.  Hearn then singled to right to drive in the final run of the game.

Lakeside outhit Columbia 14-3, and the Vikings drew a critical 8 walks over the course of the game. Cooper and Boden both went a perfect 3-3 at the plate for the Vikings, and Hearn and King added two hits apiece.

Mar 29 – Lakeside @ Decatur
It was not a good Friday for the Lakeside JVs as they fell for the third time this season.  Decatur JV shocked the Vikings with a 3-2 come-from-behind win, dropping Lakeside to a record of 7-3-1.

Lakeside jumped out to an early lead on singles by Jonathan Cooper and Jaret Barr in the first inning.  Both runs scored when Cole Howard grounded to shortstop but the ball squibbed away from the fielder.  Barr ran hard with two outs and it paid off as he crossed the plate for the second run.

Lakeside’s lead held up until Decatur scored two cheap runs in the third.  With two outs in the inning, Decatur tallied a soft infield hit and a weak pop fly that dropped inside the foul line for a double.  The runs eventually scored, but the Vikings got out of the inning on a fine play by shortstop Weston Warncke.

Barr started the game on the mound for the Vikings, and he did not allow another run until Decatur put together a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning.  In a tie game, Decatur loaded the bases to start the sixth.  A single to center looked like it would break the game wide open, but Cooper fired to cut-off man Warncke, who nailed the runner at the plate on a perfect tag by catcher Joe Fiorenza.  Decatur had a one run lead, but Lakeside’s defense was just warming up.  With one out and two on, Drew Teachout relieved Barr on the mound.  The inning ended with a ground ball to Warncke that Logan Neely turned into a double play.  Coaches Johnson and Raymond get assists on the double play by finally convincing the umpire that the run should not count when the inning ended on a double play.  Despite the solid defensive plays, the damage had been done, and Barr was on the hook for the loss.

The Vikings managed only 5 hits on the evening, including two by Cooper and one each by Barr, Grant Gibbons, and Chandler Fitts.

Lakeside JV can quickly erase the bad taste as they travel to Columbia for Saturday showdown at high noon.

Mar 29 – Chamblee @ Lakeside
On a Maundy Thursday, Lakeside JV gave a last supper to Chamblee JV then put them out of their misery with a 13-3 win in five innings.

The Vikings exploded for eight runs in the second inning, and the game was never in doubt after that.  Lakeside did all of its damage with two outs.  Jonathan Cooper got the Viking ship sailing by driving in two runs with a bases-loaded double to the right-center gap.  Michael Boden made it back-to-back two RBI doubles when he launched a shot over the centerfielder’s head.  Will Cosby walked, and Jaret Barr followed with an RBI single.  After Barr stole second, Joe Fiorenza capped off the 8 run inning with another RBI single.

Grant Gibbons dominated Chamblee on the mound.  Gibbons did not allow a hit until the third inning, and Chamblee squeaked out a single unearned run in the fourth.  Gibbons’ four innings included two strikeouts and three walks.  Logan Neely closed out the game by allowing two unearned runs in the fifth and final inning.  The Vikings gave away a couple runs so they could bat one more time.

Cooper led the Vikings with three hits and two RBIs.  Barr racked up three RBIs on two hits for the Lakeside, including an RBI double in the fourth inning.  Drew Teachout added two RBIs for Lakeside, who outhit Chamblee 11-3 for the game.

The Lakeside JV team goes outside its district and travels to Decatur for a make-up game at 5pm Friday.

Mar 26 – Druid Hills @ Lakeside
Lakeside JV engaged Druid Hills JV in a heated battle on a frozen field Tuesday night.  Unfortunately for both, the contest concluded in an anticlimactic 5-5 draw as darkness fell after 9 innings.

Drew Teachout started the game for Lakeside, and he lasted six strong innings.  After allowing a run in the first inning, Teachout shut out Druid Hills for the next three.  He was in line to collect the win until Druid Hills rallied to tie the game with two runs in the top of the seventh.

Lakeside took a 2-1 lead in the third inning when Michael Boden led off with a triple, Jaret Barr walked and stole second, and the runs eventually scored on groundouts by Joe Fiorenza and Weston Warncke.

Druid Hills took a lead with single runs in the 5th and 6th innings, but Lakeside forged a late comeback with a three-run bottom of the 6th inning. Lakeside scored on an RBI single by Grant Gibbons, a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Cooper, and an RBI single by Fiorenza.

Druid Hills tied the game in the top of the 7th, but Warncke worked his way out of a bases loaded jam with a strikeout to end the inning.  Warncke did not allow a run in the 8th or 9th innings to preserve the tie.  Lakeside seemed to be in control and had runners in scoring position in each of the last innings, but the Vikings could not push across the game winning run.

Gibbons was the hitting star of the game with three hits.  Boden and Fiorenza added two hits each for the Vikings.  Lakeside JV will have a chance to return to the winning column Thursday night at 5:00 when Chamblee visits for a region clash.

Thanks to Ken Barr for a MUCH improved game recap!

Mar 20 – Decatur @ Lakeside
The Lakeside Vikings JV team beat the Decatur JV team 5-4 in a close seven inning on Wednesday with the help of Chandler Fitts, who singled and scored a run in the fourth inning.

Decatur couldn’t get anything going as long as Jaret Barr was on the mound. Decatur managed just two hits off of Barr, who allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out four during his 3 2/3 innings of work.

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Mar 16 – Dunwoody @ Lakeside
A tight game was decided in the eighth inning as Lakeside fell to Dunwoody 9-5 on Saturday.

Will Cosby was hot at the plate going 3 for 4 and drove in one. He singled in the second, fifth, and seventh innings.

After a quick strike from Dunwoody, the Vikings responded with two runs in the second by RBI’s from Alan Hardeman and Michael Boden.  After posting one run in the fifth, Dunwoody again scored one in the sixth. In the fifth, Dunwoody scored on an RBI single.

Dunwoody stayed on top until the final out after taking the lead in the eighth, scoring four runs on two doubles.

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Mar 15 – Lakeside @ Chamblee
Fans were treated to a high-scoring affair Friday as Lakeside outscored Chamblee 17-10 in seven innings.  There were 17 hits, including four extra base hits.

Twelve runs in the first three innings kept Lakeside on top the entire game. A two-run single by Joe Fiorenza during the first inning and an RBI single by Parker Raymond, a groundout by Michael Boden and Raymond scoring in the second inning fueled the Vikings offense early.

Jaret Barr was solid at the plate going 2 for 3, drove in one and scored three runs. He singled in the fourth inning and tripled in the seventh inning.
Cole Howard got the win for the Lakeside by allowing one run over three innings, struck out three and gave up only two hits.
The Vikings added seven more runs in the top of the third and two more in the fourth (Barr scoring in both innings).

Lakeside piled on three more runs in the top of the seventh with Adam Blandford kicking things off with a single, scoring Alan Hardeman. That was followed up by Barr’s triple, bringing home Blandford.

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Mar 13 – Lakeside @ Redan
The Lakeside JV team rolled over Redan on Wednesday after an eight-run rally in the fourth inning.

Jonathan Cooper racked up four RBI’s on two hits for the Vikings.  He singled in the third and fourth innings.

Grant Gibbons got it done on the hill on the way to the win.  He allowed three runs over four innings.  He struck out four, walked two and surrendered two hits.

Lakeside took an early lead in the first inning with one run and then came back with two more runs in the second inning.  Redan matched the Vikings with three runs in the third inning but Lakeside came back in the fourth with a big eight run inning and added two more in the fifth inning with the final score of 13-3.

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Mar 9 – Tucker @ Lakeside
The Lakeside Vikings soundly beat Tucker on Saturday 12-3 in seven innings.

The game was back-and-forth heading into the fifth, with five lead changes.

Lakeside grabbed an early lead in the bottom of the first, 1-0. Parker Raymond got things going with a single.  An error then moved Raymond from first to second. Michael Boden singled, scoring Raymond.

The Vikings took the lead in the fifth inning and held on for the victory. A sacrifice fly by Howard scored Adonis Halland gave the Vikings the lead for good.

Lakeside scored six runs in the sixth on a wild pitch, a two-run double by Cole Howard, a wild pitch and an RBI single by Raymond.  Raymond racked up four RBIs on three hits.

Jaret Barr got the win. He pitched three shutout innings, gave up one walk and surrendered only one hit.

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Mar 2 – Lakeside @ Riverwood
Game 1:

Riverwood was never able to get over the hump and get over its troubles against the Lakeside Vikings JV team on Saturday, as Riverwood fell 6-5 after falling behind by four runs in the third inning.

Riverwood scored on an RBI single by Wilson in the fourth inning and a walk by Vainer and a groundout by Sutton in the sixth inning. Still, Riverwood couldn’t draw even.

Will Cosby got the win for the Vikings. He allowed three runs over four innings. He struck out four, walked one and surrendered four hits.

The Vikings jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Parker Raymond singled to ignite the offense. They pushed more runs across when Raymond scored on a groundout by Joe Fiorenza.

Riverwood survived the Vikings surge and put up two runs of its own in the first. Riverwood scored on a wild pitch and a groundout by Diamond.

The Vikings never trailed after scoring two runs in the second on a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch.

The Vikings tacked on another two runs in the third. Weston Warncke kicked things off with a double, scoring Alan Hardeman.

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Game 2:
The Lakeside Vikings JV team fell 10-0 to Riverwood in the second game of the double header on Saturday.

Cameron Hearn did his best to jumpstart the offense for the Vikings, reaching base two times.

Cole Howard pitched lights out for the Vikings by giving up just one hit, allowed two earned runs, walked four and struck out two during his four innings of work.

Davis got the win for Riverwood. He pitched five shutout innings. He struck out four, walked three and surrendered two hits.

Riverwood added two more runs in the bottom of the third. An error scored Sutton to get Riverwood on the board in the inning.

Riverwood increased its lead with six runs in the fifth. A wild pitch scored Block for the inning’s first run.

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Feb 18 – Lakeside @ Druid Hills
Scoreboard operators were busy on Monday as the Lakeside Vikings JV and Druid Hills combined for 27 runs. The Vikings eventually won the offensive battle 17-10 in seven innings. The two teams combined for 19 hits in the game.

Eleven runs in the opening three innings allowed the Vikings to easily put away Druid Hills. An RBI single by Cameron Hearn during the first inning and a hit by pitch, a three-run single by Hearn, an RBI single by Weston Warncke, and an error in the second inning supplied the early offense for Lakeside.

Even though Cole Howard allowed six runs over three innings he still recorded the victory. Howard struck out none, walked six and gave up three hits.
The Lakeside Vikings Jaret Barr, Jonathan Cooper, Hearn and Warncke combined for eight hits and 14 RBIs.

It didn’t take long for Druid Hills to answer as it scored three runs of its own in the first. Druid Hills scored on a groundout by Curtis Jamerson, a wild pitch, and an RBI single by Scott Rossi.

The Vikings piled on four more runs in the top of the third. A sacrifice fly scored Alan Hardeman to get Lakeside on the board in the inning. That was followed up by Hearn’s double, scoring Cooper and Parker Raymond.

Three runs in the bottom of the third helped Druid Hills close its deficit to 11-6. An error, a fielder’s choice, and an error set off Druid Hills rally. But, Howard got Noah Floyd to fly out to end the inning.

The Lakeside Vikings added five more runs in the top of the fourth. A bases loaded walk scored Grant Gibbons to start the scoring in the inning. That was followed up by Hearn’s single, plating Cooper and Raymond.

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