The Rockford varsity baseball team lost a pretty important game to Hudsonville on Tuesday, May 18 at Hudsonville. The final score after seven innings was 3-0. The loss will likely take them out of the running for repeating as OK Red conference champions.
The Rams’ offense was held in check by Hudsonville junior pitcher Skylar Hoke, who was tough to hit all day. His fastball was consistently 84-86 and his breaking pitch was effective. Rockford did garner four hits, but just couldn’t string them together. Hudsonville benefited from some timely calls by the umpires that were in question by the Rockford crowd. Christian Lienesch, Bryan Baldwin, Zach Martinek and Taylor Masiewicz all had singles for the Rams.
Defensively, the Rams had a couple of errors that Hudsonville took advantage of. Baldwin continued his string of strong pitching efforts. He held Hudsonville’s potent offense to just five hits on the day. He gave up three walks and struck out four. Baldwin’s fastball was good as well. He was pretty consistent between 81-84, reaching 85 a couple of times early in the contest.
On Thursday, May 20 at Rockford, the home team beat a tough Hudsonville team to avenge their 3-0 loss earlier in the week. The Rams beat the Eagles 5-4 with timely hits and solid defense.
Rockford managed just five hits on the day, but they were timely. The Rams linked three hits and a walk in the third inning to score three runs. One of the hits was a homerun by sophomore Tony DiLeo. Rockford scored two more runs in the fourth inning on a double by Evan Smith, an error, a sacrifice bunt by Baldwin, and a sacrifice fly by Shain Showers.
The Rams’ offense was held in check for their last two innings, but the five runs for the day were enough to win. Leading the way offensively was Brandon Nostrant, who was 2-3 with one RBI, and DiLeo, who was 1-2 with 2 RBIs. The other two hits came from Baldwin and Smith.
Defensively, the Rams relied on the left arm of junior Austin Stephens, who struggled a bit in the first inning, but settled down after that and went the distance to notch the win. He gave up two runs in the first and then just one run each in the second and fifth innings. On the day, he held a potent Eagles offense to six hits, walked three and struck out eight.
The win gives the Eagles two conference losses on the season while the Rams have four. Rockford wraps up conference play with two games against West Ottawa on Monday and Wednesday, May 24 and 26.