Freshman baseball faces off against East Grand Rapids

Charlotte Stephan

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The freshman baseball team participated in their second doubleheader this week following spring break. After two wins against Byron Center on Tuesday, April 11, the team faced the East Grand Rapids Pioneers on Thursday, April 13.

Game one started at 4:15 p.m. where the Rangers started in the field as the home team. Benny Mielock had a superb night as the starting pitcher. He only allowed three hits, two runs, and struck out four batters over the first four innings. As they began the fifth inning, Will McClain stepped onto the mound to finish off the game where he faced nine batters and threw thirty-three pitches to end the game.

“Today, we made fewer errors than in other games, and I think we felt more comfortable with each other,” Benny stated.

Will McClain and Nick Williams each collected one hit for the Rangers, and Oliver Pelon helped the team with his sacrifice fly to help Gibson Wierenga come home to score a run. Unfortunately, the team lost the game 7-1.

“We played a very good EGR team that had very solid pitching; it was the best we have seen all year,” coach Paul Grady said. “We need to be more patient and disciplined with our at-bats, and that is what I want to see next games vs FHE.”

After their mid-game break, the boys headed back to the field where Jonathan Van Houten started on the mound. He allowed seven hits, four earned runs, and was able to strike out five batters. The Rangers then switched pitchers in the top of the fifth inning when Caden Harleton finished the game off. Caden only faced three batters where he was able to strike one out and allow no more runs to come in. Unfortunately, the team struggled in the field, and they let ten runs in by the end of the night. 

“In the future, we need to limit the amount of errors we have because we had eight in the second game,” Nick said. “I think we would’ve won other games too if we didn’t have as many errors.”

Although the defense was a bit rough, the team came out and was ready to hit in the second game. To start the game, Oliver singled on a line drive to the left fielder and later in the inning Benny singled to the third baseman which was able to bring Oliver in to score the first run on the board. Later in the third inning, Nick grounded out to the first baseman, but Oliver was still able to score to get the team’s second run. The score was 10-2 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, and the Rangers were down. Keyan Roelfzema started the rally of hits for the team when he singled on a fly ball to center field. Nick and Caden were both hit by pitches with the bases loaded at the end of the inning to tie the game up and the Rangers ended with a final score of 10-10.

“I think we did very well with fighting back in the second game,” Oliver said. “We were able to push through and get it to a tied game at the end. I am very proud of my boys.”

The boys’ next game will be a doubleheader on Friday, April 14, at 4:15 p.m. at Forest Hills Eastern.