HOWELL — Things didn’t start so well for the Howell baseball team on Tuesday.
First, there was a two-run error by shortstop Caleb Balgaard in the top of the first inning.
Then, in the bottom of the inning, the Highlanders got four runners on base but scored only one run, with two base-running outs at third.
But, as they have all season, the Highlanders got things going soon afterward. Balgaard drove in two runs with a pair of doubles and Kaeden Palmer drove in three runs with a double as Howell beat Waterford Mott 10-3 in a Lakes Conference crossover at Howell High School.
“Some days are a grind,” Howell co-coach Jason Ladd said. “You get down early and you have to keep battling. That’s what we did today. That was good. There’s always things we can get better at.”
The win put Howell (15-8 overall, 9-1 KLAA West) back in first place, a half-game ahead of Hartland with five games to go in league play.
“We just have to keep the foot on the pedal,” Palmer said. “That’s all. You’ve got to come out strong, get the bat on the ball, score runs and play good defense.”
The Highlanders took the lead in the third. Bryan Rendell singled, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Balgaard’s first double. Balgaard scored when Spencer Ford reached on an infield error, Brett Chaperon singled and Palmer walked.
Nick Rauch then singled in two runs, and Howell never trailed again.
Meanwhile, Evan Maize and Garrett Breault were keeping the Corsairs at bay. None of Mott’s runs were earned.
“They did well today,” Palmer said. “They hit their zones. They threw their pitches good. It’s all about throwing strikes.”
The Highlanders travel to Pinckney today for a twin bill, weather permitting, then play host to Walled Lake Central before wrapping up division play at Milford next week.
“We’ve got to keep it going,” Ladd said. “Just keep fresh and stay loose.”