Division I Team Of The Week: Week 2 - Lakota East


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Division I Team Of The Week: Week 2 - Lakota East

LAKOTA - Five wins in a row has momentum on the side of Lakota East with a big week ahead featuring a league showdown with Oak Hills on Wednesday and Friday.

“In looking at the last week we’ve swung it really well, for the most part we’ve done that most of the season,” noted Roy Hamilton, head coach of the Prep Baseball Report Division I Team of the Week. “Now our guys are not giving up free passes on the mound which also makes us a lot better. That’s a huge difference. We’ve only had problems with that in three innings, which came in those three losses.”

Now 11-3 on the year, Lakota East had a big week in improving from a 6-3 mark, with 3-0 and 4-2 victories over Hamilton to start the past week. A 10-7 win over Fairfield came next before a 5-1 triumph over CHCA. The week closed with a 9-7 victory over Jackson.

“The key for us is playing it one game at a time,” Hamilton said.

Junior Evan Whiteaker, the 79th-ranked 2022 right-handed pitcher in the nation and an Indiana commit, is 3-0 as is Jack Villarreal, an uncommitted junior. Sophomore Carson French stands 2-1 while senior southpaw Campbell Spradling, a Charleston (WV) commit ranked 21st among 2021 left-handed pitchers in Ohio, has aided the staff as has Connor Frank.

A long list of players have led the way at the plate for Lakota East, which has a team on-base percentage of .509.

Sophomore Sam Pennix has the top batting average on the team at .410 while Whiteaker is at .395. Colin Sweeney is hitting .360 and Michael Sprockett, an Akron signee ranked seventh among 2021 catchers in the state, is at .333.

“For us the goal is to be a difficult out and we’ve done that,” related Hamilton, whose Thunderhawks are averaging .300 as a team. “We don’t strike out much and we put the ball in play.”

Tied for the Greater Miami Conference lead with Oak Hills, Lakota East not only has big GMC games this week but plays two games apiece with Mason, Princeton and Lakota West the following week.

“This is a typical year for us,” Hamilton said. “We expect to always be there. It’s a quest to meet the expectations of the kids that came before you.”

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