Matthew Mittlestadt leads the FHC varsity baseball team to a 7-2 win over Grand Rapids Christian

Matthew Mittlestadt leads the FHC varsity baseball team to a 7-2 win over Grand Rapids Christian

Junior Matthew Mittlestadt shined on the mound yesterday, as he led the Rangers to their first win in four games against Grand Rapids Christian. With great work on the mound from Matthew, junior Jake Munger led the way for FHC in the batter’s box with his two-for-four day while driving in two runs and scoring one. 

After getting swept by the Eagles on Tuesday, the Rangers were out for revenge against GRC by putting their best lineup out there to get their first victory since last week over Lowell.

To start off the game in the top of the first, junior Joe Robertson was hit by a pitch. Soon after, the Rangers were quickly taken out of the inning with a series that included a strikeout and a couple of fielder’s choices to keep the Eagles unscathed. Matthew would get started pretty quickly with his own hit-by-pitch on an Eagles batter; however, he got some help from the field by getting a couple of groundouts and a pop-out to senior Nathan Sigg in right field to end the first.

The top of the second inning started off quickly with junior Josh Smith hitting a single that got past the shortstop and third baseman to trickle into left field. It was to no avail though, as Jake grounded out into a double play and senior Maguire Mahachek struck out to end the top half of the second. The Eagles started off their half of the second with a single of their own, but yet again, it wouldn’t help their cause as they would go 1-2-3 to end the second. The top half of the third wasn’t what the Rangers wanted, as they only got a single in the inning to keep the game scoreless. The Eagles took advantage of the Rangers’ woes, as they scored a run to get the first score on the board for either team and make it a 1-0 game going into the fourth inning.

FHC answered in the top of the fourth as junior Joe Seurynck led off the inning with a double. Also, Nathan Sigg hit a single right after to put guys on the corners with no outs. Senior Logan VanLente lined out to center field to drive Joe home on the sacrifice fly. Josh Smith would strike out, but Jake got his first RBI of the game with a single into center field that drove Nathan home. Right after Jake, Maguire hit a single into center field, as the Rangers would have runners at the corners again with 2 outs now. Matthew drew a walk and soon after, Joe Robertson got hit by a pitch again to drive in another run and make the game a 3-1 lead for the Rangers going into the final three and a half innings.

GRC would quickly get out of the fourth by pitching into three quick outs, and soon after, FHC capitalized and not take its foot off the gas. The fifth inning started with two quick popouts and Logan would get hit by a pitch soon after to put a runner on. Josh Smith came up to bat and got great contact on a ball that gave him a triple to score Logan. Right after Josh, Jake got his second RBI of the day on a single to give FHC a 5-1 advantage. GRC would go 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fifth, giving the Rangers all the momentum going into the homestretch.

A series of singles would lead the Rangers to getting two more runs on the board to blow the game wide open and give them a huge 7-1 cushion. Matthew would continue his great work on the mound, as he got the Eagles to go 1-2-3 yet again in the bottom of the sixth. The Rangers got into three quick outs themselves, but the Eagles would not go down without a fight with their last chance in the bottom of the seventh. Christian would get a run on an error, and Joe Robertson would come in for Matthew after he pitched 6 ⅔ innings while only giving up 2 hits and 2 runs. Joe would get a quick punch out to give the Rangers their first win in 5 games.

“We played fast and clean baseball,” Matthew said after the win. “I think we had only one error, which is the best outing our defense has had all year. It was a great defensive game and it came at the right time because our bats were finally starting to heat up.”