The Rockford varsity baseball team hosted and defeated Grand Haven on Wednesday, May 12, in a game that was rescheduled due to rain.
The Rams scored early and never looked back. Their potent offense struggled as they only garnered three hits on the day. Fortunately, Bryan Baldwin pitched with his normal effectiveness and the Rams went on to win the game 5-0.
Offensively, the three singles in the game were hit by Evan Smith, Christian Lienesch, and Baldwin. All other base runners reached by error, fielder’s choice or walk.
Baldwin took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before giving up his only hit on the day, a double by the leadoff batter in the top of the seventh. Impressively, Baldwin didn’t walk anyone and struck out 11.
“It was nice to see Bryan continue to pitch well and to see our defense continue to get better,” said Coach Hearn after the contest.
This game put the Rams at 6-3 in conference and 16-5 overall.
Rockford swept Grand Haven by winning their second contest 11-2 on Friday, May 14 at the lakeshore.
The Rams scored four runs in the first inning, five in the fourth and two in the sixth, as their offense pounded out 13 hits and 11 runs while leaving seven runners on base for the day.
Sophomore Shain Showers was productive again, leading the way on offense. Showers was 2-3 at the plate with a triple and three runs batted in. Zach Martinek also had three RBIs resulting from two timely singles. Christian Lienesch was 2-3 and John Veitengruber was 2-4. The other runs were driven in by Veitengruber, Ian Stankus, Tony Dileo and Drew Farmer.
Defensively, the pitching duties were handled by fellow junior left-handers, Austin Stephens and Joe Kropiewnicki. Stephens was effective and received his fourth win of the season. He went five innings, while giving up five hits, one walk, and striking out six. He really was never in trouble other than a 390-foot fly ball that speedy centerfielder Lienesch tracked down for an out. Stephens also picked off two base runners on the day. Kropiewnicki came in for the sixth and seventh innings, and was effective in securing the win for the Rams. “Krop” pitched two innings while giving up two hits, no walks and striking out two.