The Journal Gazette
Thursday, May 12, 2022 1:00 am

Heritage 17 Wayne 4

Hot-hitting Heritage gets 8 in 1st, rolls to win

Patriots compile 14 hits, 9 walks

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

Heritage scored eight runs in the top of the first inning at Parkview Field on Wednesday, and though the Wayne Generals loaded the bases a few times themselves, the Patriots won 17-4 in five innings.

The Patriots (19-1) had 14 hits and nine walks – eight Heritage batters were walked at least once, and Barry Lomow was walked twice. Jackson Bearman and Caleb Abbott each had a double, and Dalton White doubled twice and drove in four runs.

After hanging eight runs on the Generals (2-16) in the first inning, the Patriots added two in the second, five in the third and two more in the fourth.

“There's a lot of room for improvement – we can do better,” Heritage coach Dean Lehrman said. “Our goal is to peak at the right time and keep working hard, so that's what we stress every day.”

The Generals didn't have a hit until the bottom of the fourth and finished with just three – but Wayne had plenty of chances as seven batters walked and another reached on an error.

In the bottom of the first, LaDarius Griggs was walked, Jhonny Carvajal reached on an error and Clay Bruce walked to load the bases for the Generals. With one out, Eric Echeverria grounded out, allowing Griggs to score, but Carvajal was called out at home, ending the inning with Wayne in an 8-1 hole.

Brady Moody had the first Wayne hit after Echeverria led off the fourth with a walk, and Landen Dantzer drove in both with a double just inside third base. Wayne scored another run on a bases-loaded walk in the fourth, but even that three-run rally left the Generals trailing 17-4.

Heritage starter Leroy Lepper earned the win by going three innings, giving up one unearned run, no hits and four walks while striking out four.

The setting at the TinCaps' field made Wednesday's game memorable, but the lopsided score wasn't unusual for this Heritage team: The Patriots have scored at least 10 runs in 11 of their 20 games. This isn't even their biggest margin of victory against an SAC team, as Heritage beat North Side 19-1 and South Side 18-0. The Patriots also defeated Tippecanoe Valley 24-1.

“We have a lot of selfless players out there, the guys who start and the guys who aren't starters,” Payton Fields said. “We have a lot of confidence in each other, and we're great teammates, everyone's cheering. We have a lot of energy, a lot of attitude, and we have fun playing the game.”

The Patriots (3-0) are the only undefeated ACAC team, but a game against Jay County this week and Woodlan and Adams Central next week will determine that champion.

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