BONANZA — The Lakeview baseball team played likely its best game of the season.
For Bonanza baseball, it might have played its worse. It was the start of the second to last Special District 6 series of the regular season for both teams.
The No. 7 Honkers improved their chances to get the top spot in the district with a 22-2 victory against Bonanza Tuesday.
Lakeview was helped by Rogue River Tuesday, which beat the top seed in the district Lost River, 9-0.
Fate will be in the hands of the Honkers for their final district series of the year that will be played at Illionois Valley (2-8 in district play, 4-9 overall) Monday in a doubleheader.
If the Honkers were to win both games, they will be the top seed in the district heading into the Class 2A/1A state championships.
The Honkers were relentless versus Bonanza and came away with 20 hits as a team.
It was a 13-run third inning that opened up the game for Lakeview.
Dayton Alves proved to be the star for his team and confused Bonanza’s pitchers.
He started with a two-run home run in the third inning and came back with a two RBI double in his next at-bat during the same inning.
Bjorn Erickson also had a hot bat in the third and had a three-run home run.
Alves was stellar throughout the evening and also had a triple. He finished 4-for-5 to lead the game in hits.
Jace Brazeal (two doubles) and Nolan Petersen (one triple) also were consistent and ended with three hits each.
“They are hungry for the playoffs. These guys have all been playing since being kids with one another. This is the season they want to have. They go into each day focused and this has all been building up for them for the past couple of years,” Lakeview head coach Pat Petersen said. “It is easy to lose focus when you are younger, but they have given it their best to end how they want to end.”
The bright spot for the Antlers was senior Rodrigo Madera.
Madera ended 3-for-3 for Bonanza.
Madera, a star football and basketball player, has played four varsity years for Bonanza.
“It was senior night for us. It was possibly the last time a couple of us would ever see the baseball field, so we gave it our all in front of our parents,” Madera said.
Bonanza, 2-8 in district play, will have no postseason but Madera recalled being asked earlier during the day in school what his favorite memory was during sports.
“My first memory was hitting that first ball when I was little. There is no better game than this. There is something about that which puts a smile on your face. I rarely play upset. You are out here four years giving it your all. You walk around in school and you have kids give you high fives and tell you good game last night. You want to give everything you have for this community. You know the middle names of your teammates and their parents’ names. It is nice knowing that you have a non-blood family here.”
Dave Vanhorn, father of former player at Bonanza two years ago, Jeremiah, attended Tuesday’s game, and quickly caught the eye of Madera.
“I saw him (Dave Vanhorn) behind the plate tonight. We drew “DV” in the batting circle years back after they caught an early stage of prostate cancer on him. We played for him and he was giving it his all; we tried to play as hard as he was fighting,” Madera said. “It hurt and hit personally. It is non-blood family, you know, and it hit deep. We are just out here playing ball and having fun. What more can we do but give it our all and play for him.”