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Dickinson, Hambrook power Lakers in opener

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

I-L starter Chase Dickinson struck out nine and earned the victory on the hill as the Lakers beat Mascoma Valley, 8-3, in the season opener on Friday at Prescott Park. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
April 21, 2014
MEREDITH With just one game on the schedule before vacation week, the Inter-Lakes High School baseball team was not interested in stewing over a loss for a long period of time. The Lakers made sure they went into the break on a high note, overpowering visiting Mascoma Valley, 8-3, in the Division III opener at Prescott Park on Friday afternoon.

"It's huge," said first-year I-L head coach Dan Curnyn of the victory, which was his first as skipper. "We go away for a week so this is something positive for us to be able to think about with such a long time in between games."

The Lakers (1-0), which had their scheduled opener postponed with Laconia two days earlier, got a big-time pitching performance from Chase Dickinson in the win. The right-hander was on point early, striking out the side in the first inning en route to nine total strikeouts in five innings of work. Dickinson allowed just one hit a single in the fourth inning while walking three and giving up three runs (one earned).

"He was unbelievable," said Curnyn of Dickinson. "He was coming in with first pitch strikes probably 70 percent of the time. And then he was throwing mostly second pitch curveballs. When you can throw those for strikes, it doesn't matter how fast you're throwing your fastball. It keeps the hitters off balance. Pitching will get us through this season."

I-L's offense was solid for the first outing as well. The Lakers pounded out eight hits, and they got off to a strong start to give Dickinson some early run support. Dillon Mailand led off the game with a single and eventually scored when Ryan Hambrook reached on an error for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

Dickinson would help himself later in the frame, as his single plated Hambrook and Eamon Bean (walk) to give the hosts a 3-0 advantage.

The lead grew to 4-0 in the third inning, as Hambrook tripled with one out and came around to score on a wild pitch.

Mascoma finally got on the board in the fourth inning, as the Royals scratched together their first and only hit against Dickinson. Two errors from the Lakers in the inning led to a pair of runs however, as the visitors cut the deficit to 4-2.

"We had some guys playing in different spots but that's only going to help us over the course of the season," said Curnyn, whose team was missing a few players.

The Lakers had an answer offensively though, as the squad got those two runs back in the bottom of the fourth. Dickinson led off with a single, and he moved to third on a Nick Baker single with one out. Peter Baker followed with an RBI single to score Dickinson, and Nick Baker scored on a successful first and third base steal situation, with Mailand getting in a rundown that allowed him to scamper home for a 6-2 lead.

After Mascoma scored an unearned run in the fifth, the Lakers tacked on two more in the bottom of the inning. Ryan Kelly led off with a single and scored on a Hambrook double, while Bean would plate Hambrook with the final run of the afternoon on a sacrifice fly to center field, putting I-L up 8-3.

Peter Baker came on in relief of Dickinson for the sixth and seventh innings, and he final four batters he would face to earn the save and the win for Dickinson. Baker tossed two innings, allowing one hit and one walk for I-L.

The Lakers return to action on April 30, as they'll tangle with Lakes Region foe Gilford.

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