Bats carry Lake Forest to second straight win over Henlopen North team

FELTON – Lake Forest baseball head coach Corey Wyatt doesn’t want his Spartans to get ahead of themselves.

But it doesn’t take long in conversation with him to find out his thoughts on the potential of this season’s team.

“Not that the other ones weren’t, but we have a very special team this year,” Wyatt said. “This one has a different mentality. They are very coachable and do the small things to win games.”

Battery mates Dillon Cole and Tyler Collins talk during last week's win over Cape. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

Battery mates Dillon Cole and Tyler Collins talk during last week’s win over Cape. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

Rebounding from a 3-0 season-opening loss to Sussex Central, the wins have come. Since that defeat, the Spartans have won three straight and are entering the post-spring break portion of their schedule riding high.

That high isn’t just coming from its 3-1 record though. Part of it is due to two of the three teams Lake, which is searching for its first Henlopen South championship since 1995, has defeated so far this season.

A season ago Lake missed out on the playoffs, largely due to the Spartans going 0-7 against Henlopen North squads. Already this season, however, Lake has victories over both Smyrna and Cape Henlopen.

“It gives our kids confidence, they see what we’ve got here,” Wyatt said of the victories over the larger Northern Division schools. “A lot of times, I think, our kids from Lake Forest don’t have the confidence going against the bigger schools.

“I tell the guys every year, ‘if you win the South games and steal a couple North games you’re sitting pretty.’ To have the two North wins it’s huge.”

Versus Smyrna in an 8-7 victory, Lake rallied from a 4-1 deficit after two innings. The Spartans did have to hold off a surging Eagles team, which plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, to earn the win.

Winning pitcher Tyler Collins, who was pitching in relief, helped his cause with a pair of doubles and three RBI from the dish. Senior Chris Sipple added three of Lake’s 15 hits and scored an equal number of times.

Things were different in last Thursday’s 6-2 home win against Cape. In that contest, Lake scored four times in the first inning and added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth while Collins worked six innings on the hill as a starter.

Starting catcher Dillon Cole, who pitched the seventh frame, doubled in a pair of first inning runs versus the Vikings.

Spartans coach Corey Wyatt meets players between innings. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

Spartans coach Corey Wyatt meets players between innings. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

“It gave us a big spark,” Cole said of the first inning rally. “We didn’t really have any pressure.

“We had runners on second and third, so I was just looking to hit something backside,” Cole added about his double. “He hung a curveball to me and I just stayed back and drove it.”

Lake is hoping that spark and its success against North teams continues this week as it returns to school from spring break. Tuesday the Spartans are scheduled to play North rival Polytech and then Thursday they are slated to be at Caesar Rodney.

CR defeated Lake 12-0 in five innings last year.

“It’s a big week for us,” said Wyatt, whose team is also scheduled to play nonconference Dickinson Friday at home. “We just have to throw strikes, hit the ball and be fundamentally sound. We’re ready for it and looking forward to see what happens.”

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