Danbury had the answers Friday.
Ben Schank struck out eight while allowing one hit, five walks and two runs as the Lakers defeated visiting Western Reserve 7-2 in a non-conference matchup.
“Ben gave us exactly what we needed with five innings after a lot of baseball,” Danbury coach Adam Steinbrick said of a busy schedule.
More importantly, Schank helped the Lakers bounce back from a disheartening loss Thursday. Danbury led Cardinal Stritch, which is among the Toledo Area Athletic Conference favorites, 5-3 with nobody on base, two outs and two strikes on the batter.
The Lakers, however, fell 6-5 in eight innings.
“One of two things can happen – obviously it was a heartbreaker – we can feel sorry for ourselves and play flat or we can be hungry,” Steinbrick said. “To see them respond … I’m very happy.”
Schank (1-1) struck out two batters in four innings. He faced nine batters in the third through fifth innings and seemed to grow stronger as the game progressed.
“They were expecting me to pull through,” Schank said. “I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the team behind me. I do my part and I expect them to pull through for me, too.”
Logan Kenley drove in Chase Botson in the first inning before Jared Koenig and Justin Tibbels scored on a single from Sam Tyson in the second. Tyson scored on an error.
“In nine games, we’ve scored in the first inning seven times to get things going,” Steinbrick said. “We can be a good hitting team. We’re one of the better 3-6 teams around. We’re excited where we can go.”
Botson, Tyson and Mike Stys scored in the sixth inning as Stys, Alec Calton and Kenley had an RBI apiece.
“It’s good to get those insurance runs,” Steinbrick said. “We played solid on defense. When you throw strikes and make plays in the field, you give yourself an opportunity.”
Tibbels relieved Schank and allowed an inherited runner to score. Western Reserve (2-6) had its other hit off Tibbels, who took the loss Thursday.
“For Tibbels to bounce back calm and cool as a freshman was great,” Steinbrick said.