LAKEVIEW — The Lakeview Wildcats baseball team needed to respond just one more time.
The Wildcats twice answered rallies by Hesperia to either take the lead or tie the game, but could not do it once more in the final inning of a 7-6 doubleheader nightcap loss on Tuesday.
With the game tied 5-5, Hesperia scored two unanswered runs in the top half of the sixth inning. Both runs were scored on throwing errors, which gave the Panthers a 7-5 lead.
Lakeview’s Cory Hamlin reached base with one out after being hit by a pitch. He was forced out at second base on a groundball by Garrett Cavendish.
Cavendish stole second base and scored on an throwing error to pull the Wildcats within one run. The game ended when Kyler Ridgeway was caught stealing at second base.
The game was called after six innings due to darkness.
“We didn’t come out ready to play. We started out better in the second game, but we just threw the ball around late,” Lakeview coach Ryan Vellanti said. “Errors. We are trying to make a play, but it’s not the right play.”
Ridgeway started the game, but suffered the loss. He went 5.1 innings, allowing seven hits, six runs, three earned runs, with seven strikeouts and four walks.
“He really threw well and he did on Friday at Chippewa Hills,” Vellanti said of Ridgeway’s performance. “He has really come on this year. He is getting more confidence and getting better and better.”
Lakeview jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. With two outs, Damion Beckett singled and scored on a double by Jared Taylor.
Hesperia scored twice in the top half of the third to take its first lead. Lakeview responded with RBIs by Ridgeway and Joe Cole in the bottom half of the inning for a 3-2 lead.
The Panthers took their second lead of the game with three runs in the top of the fifth inning. The big hit, a two-run double, came off the bat of starting pitcher Austin Balkema.
Again, Lakeview responded. This time with two runs in the bottom of the fifth with RBIs from Cole and Beau Moore for a 5-5 tie.
Hesperia’s Lukis Hawrysz earned the win in relief. He pitched the final three innings.
Seven Wildcats had one hit apiece in the loss.
Vellanti said his team has been inconsistent. The Wildcats have no seniors on their team, but have many players with varsity experience.
“It’s one game to the next. It’s even one inning to the next,” Vellanti said of their struggles. “We will give up five runs in an inning on bad plays and not knowing a situation. We’re young, but we have varsity experience.”
Hesperia cruised to victory in game one 12-4.
Beckett took the loss for the Wildcats. He pitched five innings, allowing eight runs, six earned on five hits, with four strikeouts and four walks.
Jordan Stephens went 2-for-4 for Lakeview with an RBI. Chad Kain had a hit and two RBIs.
Hesperia improved to 6-6-1 with the win. Lakeview fell to 2-9 overall and 1-8 in the CSAA.
The Wildcats will host the Grant Tigers on Thursday. They play in the Tri County Invitational on Saturday.