Leaside’s drubbing of Rosedale Heights’ 20-1 on May 5 was seen as a baseball primer for the bigger challenges they face against Tier 1 rivals East York and Northern.
Only lasting three-and-a-half innings before concluding their grotesque match via mercy, Lancers coach Eric Stickney made no excuses for his teams competitiveness.
“I’m trying to get my guys to play the same level every game,” he said. “So, regardless what the score of the game was, I’m trying to keep their mentality the same, which is to try and be as intense as they can be.”
The first inning alone was enough to sink Ravens morale as 10 sets of feet crossed the dish.
Triples came from Scott Hayden, John King and Owen Laing, who also knocked in two runs. Lancers pitcher Duncan Shaw sat down all six batters he faced in the first two before being replaced.
In the bottom of the second, seven more runs came in, including four off of two homeruns. King had a solo shot stay within the park, but a 3-run bomb by Laing towered over the left field fence, landing on a busy Eglinton Avenue East.
Stickney was impressed with his top nine, as he took the opportunity to go in to his reserves.
“Our starters are fantastic and as long as all pistons are on we should stand a really good chance against any team in the province,” he said. “You’re only as strong as your weakest link so the competition from here gets pretty stiff.”
Rosedale got on the board in the top of the fourth after Ralph Devlin got to second base on an error, and was knocked in by the next batter Gavin Quinn.
Still, Ravens coach Bob Boyle expressed frustration about the Lancers running of the score, calling it unsportsmanlike.
However, he added the game was a test for his charges before the varsity league is split into Tier 1 and 2.
“It’s getting a chance for our kids to play,” he said. “We’re a Tier 2 team and this is just an exhibition game for us.”
Prior to their match, the Ravens played a more grounded game against Jarvis Bulldogs, where they pulled out a 2-2 tie.
Leaside had a hard-fought match against their nemesis, Northern May 3, ending tied 7-7.
Stickney said his crew is keeping their eyes on the prize.
“There are kids on the team that are good ball players and they set their goals high,” he said. “I don’t want to knock anyone’s dreams or goals so most definitely I want to play the best teams in the province and so do the kids.”
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