The Leopards were out-hit 17-9 in Thursday’s 12-3 loss to Princeton, but that was not even the greatest concern of Lakewood head baseball coach, Jay Faircloth.
“I am very disappointed in our defense,” remarked Faircloth following the game. “Our pitchers are still doing exactly what we want them to do, but goodness, our defense is struggling.”
After trailing big early on, the Leopards would get as close as 5-3, but would then shoot themselves in the foot when the Bulldogs came around to bat again.
Routine balls became more and more difficult for Lakewood, and many shots that were ruled hits, could have been prevented according to Faircloth.
“We had half-hearted plays,” he said. “Some of Princeton’s hits could have been stopped for sure, if the boys had just wanted it more. It is really disappointing to say the least. As a coach, you want your players to be engaged and playing hard all of the time. I feel like the want-to just wasn’t there for us tonight.”
Spencer Ray had a nice night at the plate for the Leopards, as he went 2-4 with 2 doubles. Josh Carter and Matt Butler each went 2-4 as well, as they continue to play at a high level and hit the ball consistently for their team.
Lakewood’s loss drops them now to 4-7 overall, and they are just 1-5 in conference play. Faircloth and Lakewood’s attention is now set to quickly turn to Hobbton, as they travel to the Newton Grove area to take on the Wildcats on Tuesday.
“You have to put that game behind you if you’re in our situation,” said Faircloth. “We are focused on Hobbton now, and that is a really important game for us.”
Lakewood and Hobbton are set to renew their rivalry on Tuesday evening when the two tangle at 7 p.m.
Reach Adam Capps at 910-214-9585