Eagles win conference opener, play host to Howell today

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HARTLAND — The Hartland baseball team, ranked No. 1 in the coaches preseason poll, was happier to get a win Tuesday, but even happier to get outside.

Forty-eight hours after a snowstorm blanketed the area, the Eagles downed Waterford Mott 3-1 on Tuesday.

“It’s a killer when you’re sitting there and thinking ‘Man, we’re not going to play for a while,'” Hartland coach Brian Morrison said. “Then you come out on a day like today, and it really wasn’t that cold. We could keep this (weather) for a couple of weeks.”

Certainly, the Eagles (1-1 overall, 1-0 KLAA West) will be looking to do that today, when they play host to Howell (3-3, 0-1) in a doubleheader that can be heard on The Livingston Post starting at 3:50 p.m.

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Alex Vydick was also happy to get outside.

“It feels really nice,” he said. “We were getting sick of being in the gym every day. It’s a breath of fresh air to get outside.”

He made the most of the opportunity, driving in the Eagles first run with a sacrifice fly. John Baker brought home the winning run with a sacrifice fly, and RJ Bortle drove in an insurance run with a single in the sixth.

Vydick also was effective on the mound, going the first four innings to earn the victory. Nathan Lohmeier pitched the final three innings, striking out seven.

But to Morrison, the game was almost secondary to just getting outside and competing.

“We’ve just got to get playing,” he said. “That’s what I think everyone wants to do. If we happen to win more games in April, great. We just want to get out here.”