Lively bats help MHS sweep on Senior Night
McLouth Clay Mayer has watched his McLouth High baseball team fall into a distressing habit through the first half of the 2007 season.
"My boys usually have a habit of waiting until the fourth inning to start hitting," Mayer said.
The Bulldogs stayed true to form Monday night -- and once they started connecting, they didn't stop.
McLouth scored eight runs in the final two innings --waiting until the bottom of the fifth on this occasion -- to rally for an 11-8 win against Shawnee Maranatha Academy in the first game of their Senior Night doubleheader at McLouth.
The break between games didn't cool the Bulldogs' suddenly hot steel, as Mayer's club pounded four homers on the way to a 14-4 victory shortened to five innings by the 10-run mercy rule.
"It was kind of nice to get out of that .500 level," said Mayer after watching the Bulldogs improve to 6-4. "We've been going 2-2, 4-4. It was kind of nice to sweep somebody for a change."
Appropriately enough, it was the McLouth seniors who spearheaded the surge into the land of winning baseball.
Spencer Lamborn -- one of four players who will shed the purple-and-gold at the conclusion of this season -- homered in each game, Andrew Booth likewise went deep in Game 2, and Trevor Keling lashed doubles both contests.
"They really stepped up. They wanted to make everybody proud," Mayer said. "They definitely showed up ready to hit, hustled all night ... it was good leadership from them."
Meanwhile, right-hander Lance Lamborn -- Spencer's twin brother -- brushed aside a grand slam in the top of the second to toss a complete-game victory in the nightcap, allowing the entire senior quartet to enjoy their final outings before the home fans.
"I tell you, he's been throwing strikes like nobody's business," Mayer said. "He really did a good job taking control up there and shaking off that one rally inning that they had."
Junior right-hander Ryan Smith wasn't quite as efficient in the opener, yet battled through 5 1/3 innings while becoming the beneficiary of the Bulldogs' late offensive surge.
With one non-league sweep now in their back pocket, the Bulldogs can shift their focus to achieving a repeat with Thursday's doubleheader at Lyndon.
After that, it's back to the battle for the inaugural Delaware Valley League title, this being the first season enough schools are fielding teams for a true league champion to be crowned.
"It kind of gives us something extra to play for beside just a regional seeding," Mayer said. "Everybody wants to be the first one to get that banner."
McLouth 11, Maranatha 8
Maranatha 110 312 0 -- 8 13 2
McLouth 102 035 x -- 11 13 1
W-Ryan Smith. L-Johnson. 2B: Trevor Keling (M). HR: Spencer Lamborn (M).
McLouth 14, Mara. 4, 5 inn.
Maranatha 040 00 -- 4 5 1
McLouth 260 24 -- 14 18 1
W-Lance Lamborn. L-Cochran. 2B: Keling (M). HR: Mark Stewart (M), S. Lamborn (M), Andrew Booth (M), Derrick Crouse (M).