Cougars fall in season home-opener to Archbishop

Relief pitcher Justin Virdell attempts to strikeout  Archbishop hitters.   - Photo courtesy AKAASH SAINI
Relief pitcher Justin Virdell attempts to strikeout Archbishop hitters.
— image credit: Photo courtesy AKAASH SAINI

by Akaash Saini

For the Globe/Times

LAKEWOOD — With only three innings of varsity experience and not much practice time, Lakewood lost its season home-opener to Archbishop Murphy, 11-4.

The Cougars lost the first game of the three-game series at Archbishop Murphy, but according to coach Larry Delaney, his team played much better than their season opener.

“On Monday, we made a lot of physical mistakes, we made a lot of mental mistakes and today we didn’t play a clean game, but the mistakes we made were physical. Those mistakes will diminish with more practice time,” Delaney said.

Lakewood led 2-0 to start the game after Michael Leach doubled to left field, scoring Trent Melhart. Senior Justin Virdell then scored Leach home for the early lead in the bottom of the first inning.

After the Wildcats scored one run, Lakewood came right back where they left off from the previous inning when junior Nathan Raught scored.

But in the top of the third inning, Lakewood pitcher Jesse Etchey gave up three solo home runs to give Archbishop the lead, 4-3.

Leach scored again on a base hit by Andrew Campbell in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 4 a piece, but after the third inning, Archbishop racked on the points and left Lakewood in the dust.

Delaney is optimistic his team can do well this season.

“Our goal is to be playing our very best baseball at the end of the season. And we have a work in progress this year. Our goal after practice is that we are a better team when we left the field than when we entered the field.”

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