Gift wrapped


SHERIDAN — Lake Hamilton coach Gary Curtis wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth after a 7-3 win over PBNB in the first round of the People’s Bank Wood Bat Tournament in Sheridan.

PBNB committed nine errors Wednesday night, allowing Lake Hamilton to score six unearned runs to earn the victory.

“We will take it any way we can get it,” Curtis said.

Lake Hamilton’s Chris Eastburn picked up the complete-game win on the mound, allowing seven hits, striking out four and walking one.

“I was very proud of my pitcher,” Curtis said. “The first inning he threw about 20 pitches, then he came back and his total pitch count was 80 on the nose. He’s one of those guys that gets stronger as he goes.”

After allowing two runs on three PBNB hits in the opening frame, Eastburn held PBNB at bay the rest of the way, limiting the White Hall based squad to one run on four hits over the final six.

“He is also an all-state linebacker,” Curtis said. “He will probably have his choice in college in football or baseball.”

Curtis said Lake Hamilton played well for a squad that lost most of its seniors.

“This is a pretty good group,” Curtis said. “We lost a lot of seniors off our high school team. This is mostly a junior team. Most of them have played together and know each other very well. We are excited about where we are headed.”

Landon Reed, who collected two of PBNB’s hits, a double in the first and single in the fifth, said the miscues in the field were too much to overcome.

“Obviously you can’t,” Reed said. “We gave them way to many outs. Most of their runs came from us making errors and keeping them on base. That put pressure on our defense and they came up with hits when they needed to.”

Adam Law suffered the loss in 2 1/3 innings. Law gave up three hits, fanned one and walked two.

“He didn’t do bad at all,” Reed said. “He just didn’t have a defense behind him. We just couldn’t make the routine plays.”

PBNB interim coach Bryan Bearden was at a loss following the game.

“You give them more than three outs multiple times in a game and you are going to lose every time,” Bearden said. “I don’t know what to say. It wasn’t because of lack of effort. The guys were out there playing hard they just weren’t making the plays.”

And while the defense was struggling to make plays, the offense was stymied as well, partly due to Eastburn’s effort and partly due to the short fences at Babe Ruth Field.

“With these wood bats we aren’t going to hit the ball out,” Reed said. “We have to keep the ball on the ground. If we try to hit home runs it’s not working for us. We are not a home run hitting team.

“Before the game I heard people saying they thought they could get one out. I think that showed by up popping out all the time.”

Alex Hall led Lake Hamilton at the plate with two singles and an RBI.

Dylan James singled twice and drove in a run for PBNB while Connor Clemmons singled and drove in a run.