MYRTLE BEACH, SC. –With conference play upcoming on the horizon, the Lake Forest Scouts varsity baseball team took their annual trip to Myrtle Beach for four games against teams from across the nation last week over Spring break. Although their record coming out of the tournament wasn’t spectacular, they were able to work off the rust gathered from the offseason and figure themselves out before their conference opener against Stevenson, which will likely take place today. Although there is still plenty of room for improvement, the Scouts showed glimpses of the talent they will bring to the table this season.
One of the best takeaways from the first four games of the season was the promising talent of the underclassmen on the team. Colin Lochiatto certainly exceeded expectations on the hill, as he pitched seven total innings without giving up an earned run. Peter Turelli, one of the returning juniors to the team, threw a total of five innings for a 2.80 ERA. Behind them, Breck Nowik played spectacular at the third base position and provided a considerable boost on offense as well. He registered a hit in every game besides the final one, totaling a .250 batting average. Michael Vallone and Brady Christoph also got some time on the diamond. It is safe to say that after this tournament, you will see some sophomores and juniors scattered across Coach Ray Del Fava’s starting lineup.
Defense seemed to be the Scouts’ strong-suit for the majority of the tournament. Much of that was attributed to their pitching, but the rest of the defense also limited their mistakes and held opponents to a considerably low margin. The only game that the Scouts defense really showed its weaknesses was the final game against Olentangy. They allowed nine runs on ten hits along with two errors.
One of the few concerns coming out of Myrtle Beach was the Scouts offense. The team only batted .167 as a team and featured only one breakout game, a contest in which they scored seven runs. As for the other three games, they were held to only two runs combined. The only player to hit over .300 with five or more at bats was J.R Naughton. This is a team that does not hit for power, but is definitely smart at the plate. Over the four game stretch, the team totaled 16 singles, 8 walks, and one double. Not once did they go deep. Lake Forest will need to improve or make some offensive adjustments in order to keep up with teams once they enter conference play.
Overall, all things considered this was not a bad way to kick off the year for the Lake Forest Scouts varsity baseball team. Though their record isn’t pretty, they learned about their strengths and weaknesses, which will only help them going into conference play. The Scouts were scheduled to kick off their season this past Tuesday against Stevenson, but due to inclement weather, the first two games have been moved back. Depending on the field conditions, Lake Forest could have their home opener this evening at against Stevenson on the road, which would prelude a four game homestand. Stay tuned to The Forest Scout for full game recaps following every Scouts ball game.