Lewisville did something not too many Class A teams have done the past two years – beat Latta pitcher JK Love.
The Lions used a four-run fourth inning to best Love and benefited from five Viking errors in the 9-3 victory Monday in the Class A baseball championship series opener.
It was Love’s second loss to a Class A team the past two seasons and has the Lions near their second title since 2010. Game 2 of the championship is in Lewisville on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
“JK Love is a good pitcher but his defense let him down tonight,” Lewisville coach Billy Keels said. “I really thought if we won tonight it would be a 9-8 type game. I didn’t think they would score just three games.”
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Being one game from a championship isn’t something the team was thinking about after going 8-7 to start the season.
“They had classmates, people in community saying we thought you were going to be good. What happened?” Keels said. “They were writing them off. I told them keep believing and great things will happen. When they see adversity and come out smelling like a rose, that is what it is all about.”
Trey Keels pitched four innings to get the victory and also led Lewisville with three hits. Denver Mosley, Andrew Culp and Cody Montgomery added three hits for Lewisville.
Love, who threw 152 pitches in two playoff wins last week, took the loss for Latta.
Leading 1-0, Lewisville scored two more in the third on back-to-back hits by Montgomery and Mosley to make it 3-0.
Eric McGirt’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of third cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the third. But the Lions responded with four runs in the fourth as Latta committed four errors in the inning.
Latta got the Vikings to within 7-3 but Keels had a two-run double to make it 9-3.