Spartans’ baseball taking it one game at a time

FELTON – There’s no question the Lake Forest baseball program has been consistent as of late.

Three consecutive 10-win seasons isn’t an easy accomplishment in the Henlopen Conference.

Unfortunately, those consecutive 10-8 seasons failed to put the program over the top and into the state tournament during that three-year span.

Losing seven starters heading into 2017 could make the tournament milestone a difficult task, but head coach Corey Wyatt plans to just “take it one game at a time” with his young squad this season.

“We talked about our goals, we’re just taking it one game at a time,” Wyatt said. “I think sometimes the kids get a little bit ahead of themselves, and make the southern division and state tournament our main priority when we should just be focused on one game at a time. Given how young we are this year I think that’s what needs to happen. A lot of these kids have never played varsity baseball before.”

Lake’s first scrimmage, against Middletown High School Thursday, March 9, didn’t go as well as coach Wyatt would have liked. One take away from the team’s initial scrimmage is it gave coach Wyatt an opportunity to take a look at the players in game action.

“I think offensively we need to work on our hitting,” he said. “Pitching depth is a concern. I think our strength is our defense, and I also think one of our strengths is just how hard these kids are working.”

The main priority Lake Forest’s coaching staff set aside for the Spartans’ second and final scrimmage – against North Caroline (MD) Saturday, March 18 – is getting all the young players some much-needed playing time.

Seeing action against varsity pitching is always a plus for a team during the pre-season, and having a pair of scrimmages in the cold weather conditions could go a long way for Lake Forest’s regular season.

Wyatt expects junior Dalton Holemo, junior Josh Sivak, sophomore Hunter Fleetwood and sophomore Jordan Farlow to be the top four pitchers in the team’s pitching rotation.

Fleetwood is also a returning All-Conference infielder.

Sophomore Cameron Beulah, listed as a pitcher, infielder and outfielder on Lake’s official roster, started for the team as a freshman last year.

Nathan McGray – a freshman this year – has impressed coach Wyatt so far this spring. McGray, listed as a catcher and utility player, will start for Lake somewhere on the field this year. Coach Wyatt had yet to name him as starting catcher, but simply stated “he’ll start somewhere for us.”

As for the batting lineup, Lake Forest will once again be a heavy-right handed lineup. Last year Lake had just two lefties on the roster – both seniors – so this year the lineup will feature a grand total of zero left-handed hitters. It causes little concern for coach Wyatt.

“Lack of left-handed bats isn’t really a concern of mine,” he said. “My biggest concern is how inexperienced we are.”

Playing through little league and junior varsity together, the squad does have a handful of players who have played together for much of their baseball childhood, which could prove useful down the stretch.

“They’re all pretty close, and they’ve played together since they were eight, nine years old. So they have great team comradery.”

As for season goals, Wyatt just hopes his team can take it one game at a time.

“Our goal has always been to win the southern division, but we’re taking it one game at a time and seeing what happens.”

With the last state tournament appearance coming in 1998, a tournament appearance stemming from the team’s “one game at a time” mantra would mean everything for coach Wyatt and this Lake Forest baseball squad.

The season is set to begin with a road game at Dover High School Thursday, March 23. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.
[fbcomments url="" width="375" count="off" num="3"]