The Lone Tree Lion’s baseball team will travel to Pekin for round two tonight after a 6-5 walk off single win over IMS last night.
The Lions are 11-5 overall, but dropped game one to Pekin 3-2 and have played five games already this week.
Head coach Ryan Barnes says any team will breakdown a little when you play this many games in a week, but he is proud of what his team has done so far.
“The kids are going to break down over a long week like this, but we’ve had a lot of guys that have been coming in three days a week since February to get our pitchers and catchers going, and those are the guys who are physically and mentally the strongest right now,” Barnes said. “We’ve got a great group of kids, there is no quit in any of them, and when they get tired they really focus in more mentally, and it’s kind of fun to see them do this with this long week.”
The Lions are hitting .275 but have an on base percentage over .400. Their pitching staff is the strength of the team with a team ERA of 2.12 and holding opponents to hitting .144. Plus they have walked just 44 batters to striking out 103.
Harrison Miller will be pitching for them, he has an ERA of 2.47 and has opponents hitting just .185.
Barnes says tonight will be a pitchers dual, but this is not something that Lone Tree hasn’t seen before, including the recent win over IMS.
Pekin is 12-10 with a team batting average of .293 and an on base percentage just over .400. Their pitching staff has a combined ERA of 2.57, and opponents are hitting just under .200 for the season. They have also walked 96 batters to their 128 strikeouts.
After this game the Lions have a long weekend ahead of them, and Barnes says the players will need it, but the coaches may need it more.
“They’re going to have both days off,” Barnes said. “I think we’re going to need it more as coaches, especially if we play like we did last night, coming from behind. We get down five runs and then score three in the sixth and three in the seventh to win it, it’s pretty stressful.”
Lone Tree travels to Pekin for a single game tonight.