LAKE FOREST, Ill.– After opening their season in Myrtle Beach last week, the Lake Forest Scouts varsity baseball team had their home opener last night against the (5-3) Stevenson Patriots. After getting rained out the past two days, both teams were eager to get on the field to kick off conference play. The Patriots, however, seemed much more ready from the get-go than the Scouts did, as Stevenson wasted no time getting on the board Thursday night, and eventually pulled away from Lake Forest in dominant fashion.
The first inning set the tone for a middling night for the Scouts. After a single and an error, Ryan McElhinny hit a two-run double followed by an RBI single from Hayden Brotz. The Scouts managed to get one run back in the bottom half of the inning when Caleb Durbin managed to get home on a double steal, but Lake Forest still found themselves down by two runs with work to do.
The night did not get much better for the Scouts as the game wore on. After an RBI groundout that was set up by a JR Naughton double in the bottom of the third put the Scouts on the board, Stevenson put up another three spot on Lake Forest in top half of the next inning. A handful of singles, walks, and even a passed ball eventually allowed Stevenson to extend their lead to four.
The Patriots managed to score two more times in the game, both of which came on errors. By that point, Stevenson had practically put the game away, draining the life out of Lake Forest who managed only three hits on the night. The Scouts’ conference foe went on to take the first game of NSC play by the final score of 8-2.
The Lake Forest Scouts did not put together their best performance by any means on Thursday night. In a game where they allowed five costly errors, Lake Forest didn’t seem to respond in putting the errors behind them. In the first five games of the season, the Scouts have been very dependent on their defense. In games like Thursday’s where the opponent exploded on offense early on, Lake Forest has not been able to catch up.
In a combined 24 plate appearances as a team, only two players managed to get a hit, which was, on the other hand, accompanied by eight strikeouts. Offense continues to be an issue for the Scouts, as JR Naughton has been the only player making considerable contact with three hits in first five at-bats of the year. The defense has had its ups and downs, which is expected early in the season, but the lack off offense thus far has been concerning, and will be a point of emphasis moving forward for Coach Ray Del Fava’s bunch. Lake Forest will resume play tomorrow against Niles West in hopes of turning around their rocky start to the season. Stay tuned to The Forest Scout for updates and full game recaps after every game.