COLDWATER — Lakeshore's baseball team is on a roll at the right time again.
The two-time defending Division 2 state champion Lancers defeated Marshall 14-1 in Wednesday's regional semifinal.
"It doesn't matter what our regular season was like," Lakeshore senior shortstop Cam Dalrymple said. "When it comes to postseason, it's win or go home, and we all have that mentality that we have to win. The seniors want to win, and the juniors want the seniors to keep playing with them."
Lakeshore (21-16) will play Otsego at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Edwardsburg for the regional title, and a win would put the Lancers into the Super Regional at 3 p.m.
"We're doing everything right now that we didn't do early in the year," Lakeshore coach Mark Nate said. "I think we lost our focus a couple times in there, but you can't do that if you want to win the next two, so we've got to keep our focus all the way through. But I'm proud of them, they've come a long way this season."
Lakeshore got offensive production throughout its lineup, which led to a big day for Dalrymple. The Lancers' leadoff man found himself with an unusual number of RBI opportunities, and he took advantage of them.
After Riley Adams' RBI single put the Lancers up for good at 2-1 in the top of the second, Dalrymple singled in two more to give Lakeshore an early cushion.
He added a two-run double in the sixth and a three-run double in the seventh to finish with seven RBIs.
"Credit to the bottom of the order, they got going today," Dalrymple said. "It was just a good day for me at the plate, I was seeing the ball well. I like to jump on the first fastball I see. Guys on second and third, one or no outs, I'm looking to drive that ball far and score them."
Jared Evans added two singles and three RBIs, and Oli Carmody singled three times and drove in a pair. One of Carmody's singles was a bunt, and the Lancers twice reached on errors on bunts.
"We live and die by the bunt a lot, we love running the bases, putting that small ball down," Nate said. "But this group here likes to swing the bat. We've got to still mix that in, but it's kind of hard to make them all bunt when they want to hit."
After rain postponed Saturday's district tournament to Monday, the Lancers were left with limited pitching options, but Jaidyn Morris made sure that was no problem.
Morris needed just 66 pitches to cruise through six innings, scattering five hits and allowing his only run in the first. Brandon Rath pitched a clean seventh inning with a the game in hand.
By staying under 75 pitches, Morris will complete his MHSAA-mandated rest days before Saturday, so the Lancers will have their full pitching staff available.
Morris struck out just one batter, but didn't allow a walk and was able to trust a strong defense behind him. He induced 10 groundouts, and the Lancers made just one error.
"I thought we played really good defense," Nate said. "We can live with one or two errors, we just can't have five or six."
Marshall (24-9) wasn't as good defensively. The RedHawks committed six errors, including three in the second inning that allowed Lakeshore to take control.
"You lose momentum, you lose everything," Marshall coach Tom Sharpley said. "Lakeshore, give them credit, they fed off it.
"We hit a few guys, we made a few errors. They executed some great bunts, hit the ball, they get rolling. We didn't do that. Then the ball bounces the wrong way. It's challenging."Lakeshore 14, Marshall 1
WP — Jaidyn Morris. LP — Trenton Fuller.
Top hitters — Lakeshore: Cam Dalrymple 1b, 2 2b, 7 RBIs; Jared Evans 2 1b, 3 RBIs; Oli Carmody 3 1b, 2 RBIs; Riley Adams 2 1b, RBI. Marshall: Fuller 2b; Cooper Middleton 1b, RBI.
Records — Lakeshore 21-16, Marshall 24-9.
Contact: bsanders@TheHP.com, 429-1294, @HPBenSanders