The Rockford varsity baseball team swept Westview High School (Ind.) in a doubleheader on Monday, April 4. The first game was an extra inning battle that went 10 innings.
The Rockford Rams jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning, resulting from a Drew Farmer double, Christian Leinesch single, Shain Showers sacrifice fly and Brandon Nostrant RBI single.
The Warriors scored three in the third and one in the fourth off Ram southpaw Austin Stephens. At the end of six, the Rams trailed 4-2.
In the seventh inning, senior Andrew Rademacher led the inning with a single and junior Farmer hit a two-run homerun to tie the game and take it into extra innings.
The game was scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings. In the 10th, the Rams scored the winning run off a sacrifice fly by junior Matt Boonstra, who drove in fellow junior Tony DiLeo. After holding the Warriors scoreless in the bottom of the 10th, the Rams notched a 5-4 win in their first contest of the season.
Offensively, the Rams were led by Farmer, who was 3-5 with a homerun, along with junior Nostrant, who was 2-5 with one RBI, and Rademacher, who was 2-3 with one run scored.
Fellow senior southpaw Joe Kropiewnicki took over for Stephens in the fifth inning and looked great. Kropiewnicki went the final six innings allowing no runs, one hit, one walk and had eight strikeouts. The line for Stephens on the day was four innings, six hits, five walks, five strikeouts and three earned runs.
In the second game, the Ram bats exploded for eight runs in the first inning and one each in the second, third and fourth innings. They won the second game 11-4 and were never in trouble after the huge offensive burst in the first. Everyone joined in offensively including Farmer again, who was 2-3, along with junior Showers, who was 2-4 with a homerun, and DiLeo, who was 2-4 with a double. Nostrant gave a 3-4 performance that included a homerun, and junior Ian Stankus was 3-4 with a triple. Rademacher was 1-2, junior Max Crimp was 1-2, and freshman Kory Young was 2-3 with an RBI.
On the mound, senior Caleb Post started the game and was effective. He went four innings, giving up two unearned runs, three hits, a walk and had four strikeouts in getting the win. He was followed by Showers, who threw the fifth inning, giving up a hit and getting two strikeouts. Junior Nick Street pitched the sixth, walking two and striking out one.
“It was good to get the season started on a positive note with two wins against a previously undefeated Westview team, and also see the entire team contribute in both victories,” said varsity coach Ian Hearn. “The Rams showed a lot of heart and a never gave up attitude as they battled through a close, hard-fought extra-inning game. As game one progressed to later innings, so did the bats. The hitting continued into game two with 10 hits in a row to start the game. I thought our pitching showed well to start the season and the defense showed signs of being airtight. We also saw many areas that we can improve on as we move forward.”