The Rams’ offense continued to impress, and starting pitcher Bryan Baldwin was effective as Rockford mercied East Kentwood in six innings. Offensively, the Rams had four players hit homeruns. The round-trippers were hit by Andrew Rademacher, Zach Martinek, Shane Showers and Christian Lienesch. Leinesch and Martinek had three RBIs apiece and Rademacher had two. Defensively, Baldwin’s effort on the mound was impressive. He scattered five hits over six innings while allowing just one earned run and striking out six.
Rockford then played East Kentwood again on Thursday, May 6, at their home field, and lost a critical game to East Kentwood, 6-3. East Kentwood came to Rockford with something to prove. They jumped out to an early lead and never relinquished it.
Rockford had several chances to score and hit the ball hard all day, but couldn’t capitalize on many of the opportunities. The Rams had 12 hits, but left nine runners on base and committed five errors. East Kentwood had eight hits and only left four on base with one error.
Leading the way offensively for Rockford again was junior Bryan Baldwin, who was 2-3 with one RBI. Tony Dileo and Drew Farmer had two hits apiece. The other two runs were driven in by Christian Lienesch and Farmer. Evan Smith had the only extra base hit on the day, driving a double in the gap in the bottom of the seventh inning.
On the mound for the Rams was Austin Stephens, who battled but didn’t have good command and East Kentwood took advantage. Stephens took his second loss of the season and scattered eight hits on the day. He gave up two earned runs, walked two and struck out seven.
The loss was crucial as Rockford is battling to repeat as OK Red conference champions. Hudsonville, a team that is much like Rockford with a lot of youth, is in the lead and the Rams were hoping to catch them. Rockford has yet to play Grand Haven, West Ottawa and Hudsonville.
“We needed this one” said Coach Hearn after the loss.
Rockford is scheduled to play Grand Haven Tuesday, May 11, and Thursday, May 13.