Spartans edge Dragons for CVC Lake baseball win

May 1—SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — In the third inning of a Chagrin Valley Conference Lake Division baseball on Tuesday between Conneaut and Lakeside, the Spartans' Bryce Spurlin had two errors on one play.

That allowed what should have been at worst, an infield single turn into a trip around the bases for Dyln Newsome.

In the fourth, Spurlin took a line drive right off his leg.

In the seventh, he hit the leadoff batter then gave up a bloop single to put the potential game-tying and winning runs on base.

But the mentality that made Spurlin a star on the Conneaut football team in the fall was the difference in the Spartans' 5-4 win at Lakeside High School.

"It's amazing," Spurlin said of the way the game ended. "I was high in my pitch count, but after losing to these guys [an 8-2 loss Monday], it's very satisfying to win a game like that."

After Lakeside scored first two on to start the seventh, Spurlin fell behind Newsome 3-0, but came back for a strikeout that looked on a heater that nipped the inside corner.

Next up, Alex DiSalvatore crushed a liner to left field that Ethan Osbourne spared. Matt Wagner followed by hitting one just as hard, only to find the glove of Kyler Dean to end the game.

"Props for our outfielders," Spurlin said. "We've had some trouble with fly balls this season, but they cleaned it up [Tuesday] and that's what got us the win."

Spurlin also did it with the bat. He put the Spartans on the board with an RBI double in the third inning, then came home on a base hit by Anthony Rivera.

The Dragons tied it up in the fourth, then took a 4-3 lead in the fifth on a two-run single by Wagner.

But clutch RBI hits in the sixth by Dean and JR Hutchison put Conneaut back on top before handing the ball to Spurlin to finish it off.

Conneaut coach Bill Lipps credited the toughness of Spurlin to overcome whatever came his way.

"He's a linebacker," the coach said. "He plays baseball with that mentality. He's our high IQ guy. I think he's the best baseball player in Northeast Ohio, and I've seen a ton of players."

Lipps has also seen enough of his own team this season to know anything can happen, including the two-error play in the third that allowed Lakeside to tie the game.

"It was comical," he said. "It became bunt ... he fields it and throws it 14 miles down the right field line.

"Then, the ball comes to him, I thought we had him [Newsome] at third and he throws it eight miles down the left line, allowing them to tie the game. He's an equal opportunity guy. But, as soon as he did that he looked at me and said 'That's one me.' We persevered through that and added a few runs when we needed to. This was big for us."

The win puts the Spartans at 3-13 overall (1-7 in the CVC). Lakeside dropped to 6-6 and 4-4.

"We were positioned to come back, we just didn't get it done," Dragons coach Mike Nappi said. "Bryce threw very well, he had great command of the strike zone, even when he was down in the count,he fought back. He was in a hole in the seventh, but worked out of it."

Lakeside will be back in action at 4 p.m. today against Austintown Fitch at home, while Conneaut will have the day off before heading to Hubbard on Thursday.