Varsity baseball continues its slump with a series of losses against Grand Rapids Christian


It was another day led by the juniors for the varsity baseball team, but in the end, it wasn’t the results that the team wanted. Grand Rapids Christian soundly defeated the Rangers in both of its doubleheader matchups with the first game finishing in a 7-3 final and the second finishing in a 5-1 final. Despite giving up a lot of runs, junior Josh Smith pitched a solid first game while senior Joey Wise took the mound for game two and pitched well.

After two losses at the hands of the Lowell Red Arrows on Thursday, the Rangers knew that they had to bounce back and look for some momentum to get the ball rolling into the mid-season mark.

Game one got rolling as Josh took the starting role, and right off the bat, the Eagles looked like they have looked all season. The team started hot by getting a lot of base hits on Josh, and eventually, it would lead to a run scored off an RBI single from GRC. After some damage, the Rangers took their chances to the batter’s box. After a couple of walks drawn by Joey and junior Joe Robertson, senior Nathan Sigg and junior Joe Seurynck struck out. Senior Logan VanLente got on with a base on balls, but with the bases loaded, the Rangers couldn’t do anything to score a run as Josh popped it up behind the plate to end the inning down 1-0.

In the second inning, the Eagles got the ball rolling as they scored three runs to take their lead to a 4-0 advantage. The Rangers stepped into the box in the bottom half of the inning and just like that, junior Ivan Wheland got it going with a single. Senior Dawsen Beach also added a single to put runners on first and second with no outs. Junior Matthew Mittlestat put down a sacrifice bunt to advance Ivan and Dawsen, but the only run scored was on a passed ball, as Ivan came in. After a couple of strikeouts to end the inning, the Rangers were still down 4-1.

Grand Rapids Christian wouldn’t put much pressure on the Rangers in the third inning, and FHC did the same with both sides striking out. The Eagles would get a run on the board in the fourth inning after a sacrifice fly that would extend their lead to four again. FHC got another run on the Eagles after a series of walks and singles as Joey Wise put a ground ball into the grass in left field to score junior Noah Smith, as the Rangers were now faced with a 5-2 deficit.

The fifth inning didn’t see much action from either side, but GRC would put two more runs on the board to make the game 7-2 for the Eagles in the sixth inning. The Rangers went 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the sixth inning, and the Eagles didn’t see much action either in the top of the seventh. Logan VanLente scored the Rangers’ only run in the bottom of the seventh, as FHC grounded out to end the game with a 7-3 loss.

In game two, Joey took the mound and started strong in the first inning with a 1-2-3 inning, but it wasn’t enough for the Rangers offense to get going. FHC got three outs in the bottom half of the inning after a walk to get Nathan Sigg on base. In the second inning, Joey gave up a run to GRC after a couple of singles that brought in the only run for the Eagles and gave them a 1-0 lead. The Rangers would go 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the inning to keep it at a 1-0 game.

In the third inning, the Eagles would yet again get the bats rolling with a double and a triple. GRC would eventually score two runs to give the Eagles a 3-0 advantage. The Rangers still didn’t have an answer to the Eagles’ superb offense, as they would get a quick three outs to go into the fourth inning. Both teams didn’t see much action in the fourth inning, with the only good play on both sides being a double by Joe Seurynck. He was stranded on the basepaths to keep the Eagles ahead 3-0. 

GRC would answer in the fifth inning by getting a run in pretty quick to make the game 4-0, and the fifth inning would quickly end as FHC went 1-2-3 yet again. The Eagles got started quickly in the sixth inning, as Joe Seurynck would come in to relieve Joey. On the second pitch of the first at-bat, the GRC player would pull the ball over the fence in left field to give the Eagles a 5-0 lead. It was a quick inning after the long ball, as the Eagles would go 1-2-3 after that and the Rangers would quickly get three outs with only a walk to show for it. The seventh was quick for the Eagles, as Joe would get quick outs. The Rangers would only score one run in the bottom of the seventh after Joey Wise walked. FHC would go home empty-handed with a 5-1 loss.

“Joey and Josh had a nice day on the mound,” coach Todd Hartman said. “Along with them, it was great to see Matthew playing amazing in centerfield tonight too.”

The Rangers’ record on the season is now 6-5, as they will look to get revenge on the Eagles this Wednesday, April 28th at Grand Rapids Christian at 4:15 PM.