Lake Forest baseball is on a roll

FELTON – Most coaches would already be looking forward to the next season if their team started 0-3 and was trailing one of the worst conference teams 5-2 after four innings.

That, however, wasn’t even being considered by Lake Forest head baseball coach Corey Wyatt.

“I wasn’t about to give up on this team,” said Wyatt. “I knew we had a team with good pitching, hitting and defense.”

The Spartans rallied behind a six-run sixth inning and went onto defeat Seaford 9-7 that day for their first win of the season.

That come-from-behind first win has now ballooned into a seven-game winning streak that has Lake at the top of the Henlopen South standings with a 5-3 conference record. The team is 7-3 overall.

The Lake Forest baseball team has won its last seven games. (The Journal/file photo)

The Lake Forest baseball team has won its last seven games. (The Journal/file photo)

Not only are the Spartans sitting atop the Southern Division, they now control their own destiny to the championship and their first trip to the state tournament since 1998.

“I think when the weather turned warm so did we,” said Wyatt. “Actually, we should have won our first game of the season against Dover, but we gave it away. Then we had two really bad games against Polytech and Milford. But, ever since that win against Seaford we have been playing pretty good baseball.”

Currently, Lake sits atop the South and is followed by Delmar (3-3) and Milford (4-4).

The Spartans, however, still have several tough Henlopen opponents to come including, Smyrna, Caesar Rodney, Cape Henlopen and Sussex Tech, all of which have at least a .500 record.

“I wouldn’t say we are the best team in the South right now because Milford did beat us,” said Wyatt. “We only have one South game remaining (at Laurel Friday). However, all the Henlopen games count in the standings and we do have several very good conference teams to play.

“Typically, because of the strength of the Henlopen North, a South team that wins seven conference games usually wins the division.”

According to Wyatt, his Spartans have the potential to win every game.

“We do have the tools to win our remaining games,” he said. “I think it all depends on which team shows up. If we play the way we have been playing lately, we have a good chance to win.”

Providing nothing unforeseen occurs, Lake’s pitching staff is primed and ready for the games ahead.

“Right now, our best pitcher, senior Tyler Collins, will be starting against three conference teams,” Wyatt said. “As it stands now, he will pitch against Smyrna (May 3), Caesar Rodney (May 10) and our last regular season game against Sussex Tech (May 16).

“I really like our chances when he is on the mound, but I have faith in all of our pitchers.”

Wyatt also relies on senior Brandon Cashdan, senior Curtis Reed and sophomore Dalton Holemo to take the mound and win games.

Lake’s offense is also doing well with hitters like Collins, who leads the team with a .530 batting average, senior shortstop Jordan Simpson, senior centerfielder Eric Berardicelli, freshman Cameron Beulah and freshman Hunter Fleetwood.

“Not only are they doing very well at the plate, but we are hitting the ball throughout the lineup,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt added that while the Spartans have been pitching and hitting well, the defense has also been improving.

While Lake has been playing well of late, there is room for improvement.

“I would like to see us have more pitching depth,” said Wyatt. “We will get help with our pitching when, hopefully, Holemo, who cut his finger, will be able to pitch soon. Our pitchers have been improving. At the start of the season our ball-to strike-ratio was only about 50 percent, but now it’s improved to about 70 to 75 percent.”

Fresh off a Monday win over nonconference Christiana, Lake plays St. Thomas More tonight (Tuesday). The Spartans return to conference play Friday at Laurel.

In addition to the remaining conference games, the Spartans will play at Salesianum May 7 and at Delmarva Christian May 9.

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