Norsemen take their lumps

SAFE HAVEN: Danforth’s Hakan Karakus attempts to tag one of North Toronto’s only baserunners, Dan Kolominsky, as he avoids the pick off in the bottom of the fourth innning. Kolominsky’s hit to left field broke pitcher Michael Speaker’s no-hitter, boosting a deflated Norsemen squad late in the game.

But North Toronto’s youth show promise says coach Lorne Smith

The Norsemen’s starting nine were lackluster and listless.

So said coach Lorne Smith in surveying the wreckage of his varsity baseball squad after an 8-0 loss to Danforth Redhawks, May 12.

“They were sort of going through the motions,” he said. “I don’t know if they were tired, it was our third game in two days.”

In the first three innings, Danforth pitcher Michael Speaker had a no-no going, with four strikeouts.

He would also help his own cause cashing in Nick Tsiaris in the top of the third.

With a 6-0 lead — Danforth scored three runs in the top of the fourth — Speaker sailed into the bottom of the inning only to have grade 9 Dan Kolominsky break his no-hitter with a single to left field.

Speaker let the shot roll off his back.

“It didn’t really bother me,” he said. “They got the hit. Hits happen.”

Kolominsky was happy he broke North Toronto’s hitless skid.

“A lot of the players were down about the no-hitter, that no one was coming through and I just wanted to do it,” he said. “I swung at that first pitch and it felt good.”

Still, after the fourth, Speaker maintained his shutout, getting two more strikeouts for a total of six in four innings pitched.

During the bottom of the fifth, young pitcher Jason Orloff returned for his second appearance of the season, striking out three and allowing no hits or runs during two innings.

Though North Toronto showed little sign of life, Smith is optimistic that with Kolominsky and grade 10 pitchers Gustavo Velarde and Brett Chapman, the Norsemen will compete with the Malverns, Leasides and Northerns of Tier 1 South Region baseball.

“The guy in two years is going to phone me up at the cottage and thank me for giving him a good team,” he said. “I think we’re going to be good in a few years (but) we’re going to take our lumps.”

When Smith eludes to another coach at the helm of North Toronto he acknowledges he was contemplating retirement at the end of this season. But he assures he has one more year left, postponing any departures from Norsemen territory.

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