FINDLAY - For most of the afternoon Lake took care of the little things against Huron yesterday in the Division III baseball regional championship.
Such an approach loomed large late in the game as the Flyers pulled out a 3-1 victory.
The Flyers (23-5) advance to the state tournament to play Youngstown Ursuline (18-9) at 3 p.m. Friday at Ohio State University's Bill Davis Stadium.
With the score tied at 1, Lake manufactured a pair of runs in the top of the seventh while barely hitting the ball out of the infield. The decisive run came on a squeeze bunt by pitcher Matt DeLauter, allowing Scott Conley to slide in safely from third. Conley had reached base with an infield single hit deep to short.
Eddie Severhof, who reached base on a bloop single near the third base line, scored an insurance run when Kyle Scharer walked with the bases loaded.
“We've talked all year about just putting the bat on the ball,” Lake coach Greg Wilker said. “We've been stepping up to get that key hit the last two or three weeks.
“We've done that (squeeze bunt) numerous times this year.''
DeLauter, who scored two runs for the Flyers, went the distance. He gave up one run on six hits while striking out five and walking one.
And, when the game was on the line, DeLauter came through for the Flyers with the bat.
“I just tried to get the ball down to get that run across,” DeLauter said.
As for Conley doing his part on the bang-bang bunt play, he never doubted he would safely reach home plate for the go-ahead run.
“He didn't tag me, so I was just waiting for the umpire to call me safe,” Conley said. “In the end, it was exciting.”
Huron coach Jason Frederick credits Lake for playing sound baseball and coming through down the stretch when the game was still up for grabs.
“It came down to the fundamentals of baseball,” said Frederick, whose team ends the year with a 16-9 record.
“They call a suicide squeeze play at the top of the seventh - that takes a lot of courage on the coach's part to make that call.
“But that was a good call because our pitcher was around the plate all day.”
Huron pitcher Jeff Kendall lasted 61/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking three.
The Flyers jumped in front in the first inning 1-0. Jason Kapp ripped a double off Kendall, scoring DeLauter who had reached with a walk.
Kapp paced the Flyers with two hits. The Flyers kept the lead until the fourth inning when Huron manufactured a run off a couple of hits and a couple of wild pitches off DeLauter.
Huron's Adam Vance singled and tied the score at 1 when he came home from third on the second wild pitch thrown by DeLauter.
However, DeLauter made up for the miscues when it counted.