Hayman tosses 4-hitter, but LC gets just enough to win
ST. JOHN — The Michigan City baseball team continues to demonstrate its ability to compete with the marquee teams of the Duneland Athletic Conference.
On Wednesday, the Wolves played neck-and-neck with Lake Central for seven innings, as Bryce Hayman gave up just four hits while pitching a solid complete game with six strikeouts. But the host Indians matched City’s passion and got just enough offense to come away with a 2-0 victory.
Lake Central, which defeated City 7-2 on Tuesday, pushed runs across in the first and sixth, while starting pitcher Alex James gave up just two hits over six innings, with just one walk and eight strikeouts. Tyler Siegmund collected two hits for the Wolves.
“The kids are ready to play anybody,” City coach Jeff Rochowiak said. “Each inning they believe that they’re going to score runs. They don’t care who they’re going against or who the pitcher is. They’re dialed in and ready to go. We’re right there with the powerhouses in the DAC.
“The kids know they can compete. One hit was really the difference today. Lake Central had a nice double down the left field line and some real nice hustle early in the game. There’s a couple little differences that we’re going to try to clean up as we finish conference and look toward sectionals.”
Michigan City had opportunities to push runs across, but stranded runners on first and second in the third inning and individual runners in the second and seventh as James came through with solid pitches. Hayman, meanwhile, matched James on the mound while giving the Wolves a chance.
“Bryce was lights out,” Rochowiak said. “He gave up just four hits, and his curveball was working great. He did an amazing job. It shows something that he can compete against a No. 3-ranked team in the state. It shows a lot for how well he did.
“Their third baseman made a phenomenal diving catch on one play, which denied us a run. Their pitcher, like Bryce, was hitting the outside corner. It was just a great game to watch.”
Even as the game was delayed in the middle of the sixth inning due to reported lightning and storms in the distance, Rochowiak said the team didn’t lose focus.
“The kids were in the dugout laughing, dancing and having a good time, just wanting to play baseball,” he said. “We keep everything laid back, relaxed and positive. They were talking about how they were going to win the game. They were strategizing.
“The kids have some swagger, being able to compete with these great teams. It’s not like we’re losing 12-0. We have nothing to hang our head over.”
Michigan City’s effort definitely didn’t miss the radar of Indians Coach Mike Swartzentruber, who had nothing but praise for the Wolves’ effort.
“That’s a scrappy bunch over there,” he said. “We had to have a lights-out pitching performance, and still we had to scratch and claw and manufacture two runs. You have to give credit to their pitcher for a well-pitched game.”LAKE CENTRAL 2, MICHIGAN CITY 0Mich. City 000 000 0 — 0 3 1Lake Cent. 100 001 x — 2 4 2WP: Alex James (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K). LP: Bryce Hayman (6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K.)