The Press Newspaper
Lake baseball coach Greg Wilker entered last Friday’s Suburban Lakes League home game with Otsego with 398 career victories — two away from his 400th.
A win over the Knights Friday and win over Genoa at home Monday, and Wilker reaches the magic mark. A loss or rain out may mean he gets his 400th at Tuesday at home (Evergreen), Wednesday at home (Eastwood), or next Friday at Lakota.
Entering the 2009 season, his 24th at Lake, Wilker’s (398-275) teams have won five league championships, including three in the SLL and two in the Northern Lakes League. Last year’s team was 15-12 overall, 6-8 in the SLL, and entering Friday’s game the Flyers were 11-6.
Lake has made one appearance at the state tournament under Wilker, and during that decade of baseball the Suburban Lakes League sent four teams to the state final four. The league’s performance on the diamond is a testament to coaches like Wilker and his associates.
“The SLL is a very tough baseball league,” Gibsonburg coach Kyle Rase, whose team won a D-IV state championship, said. “I expect to be competitive night-in and night-out. Our competition in our league is very tough.”
Last Wednesday, Wilker got his 398th as Lake defeated visiting Gibsonburg 3-1. Brandon Maze pitched a complete game five-hitter to earn the win. Leading hitters for the Flyers were Casey Witt, 2-for-3 with a double, and Paul Magee went 3-for-3 with a double and RBI.
Coach Welker and this season’s Flyers got their first win with a 5-0 shutout over North Baltimore as Magee pitched a complete game 3-hitter. Leading hitters for the Flyers were Ryan Hotmer (3-for-4 with two RBI) and Brandon Maze (2-4/RBI).
Lake lost at Elmwood, early in the SLL season, 12-2, spoiling an opportunity for Wilker to get one closer. Hotmer was the leading hitter for the Flyers with a home run. Elmwood is one of the SLL teams to reach the state final four during a single decade under Coach Kyle Reiser, an Eastwood graduate who is still the coach. The Flyers did defeat Elmwood in another contest this season, 2-1, in eight innings.
The previous Friday, Lake defeated Woodmore 3-1 led by a two-hit pitching performance by Maze. Leading hitter for the flyers was Magee, who went 2-for-3.
The previous Saturday, the Flyers swept a doubleheader from Wauseon 13-3 and 13-10. In game one, Witt pitched a complete game three-hitter for the win. Leading hitters for the Flyers were Taylor Barteck, 3-for-4 with two RBI, Hotmer went 3-for-4 with a home run and two doubles, Jake Judy went 2-for-4 with two doubles, and Josh Tantari went 2-for-4 with a double.
In game two, Tantari came on in relief to get the win. Leading hitters were Witt, 2-for-4, Judy went 3-for-4 with a double, two home runs and five RBI, and Tantari went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI.
To get Wilker’s 394th win and improve Lake’s record to 7-5, the Flyers defeated Lakota 6-4. Hotmer was the winning pitcher, striking out four. Leading hitters for Lake were Magee, 2-for-3 with two RBI, Witt went 2-for-4, and Hotmer went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.
The Flyers proved how competitive they can be this season, nearly opening the season with a win over a strong Perrysburg team. Coming up short, 3-2, Barteck was 2-for-3 with a home run and Terry Tomanski was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI.
Other Flyer wins have been over Northwood (2-0, 10-7), Rossford (11-0), Fostoria St. Wendelin (11-1, 21-6), and Lakota (6-4). Flyer losses have been to Delta 1-0, Swanton 9-3, Rossford 3-2, and Genoa 1-0.
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