Rockford dropped two one-run games to two very good teams in Indiana over the weekend. In the first contest, the Rams took on Bloomington South and lost 5-6 on Friday, April 8. Bloomington jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and scored a run in the fourth, two in the fifth and one more in the sixth inning. The Rams scored a run in the second, one in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh, but fell just short of a comeback.
Leading the way offensively for the Rams were two juniors. Drew Farmer was 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Matt Boonstra was 2-4 with two RBI and a homerun. Other offensive contributors included junior Brandon Nostrant, who was 1-3, and junior Tony DiLeo, who was 1-3 with an RBI. Senior Christian Leinesch was 1-4 with two runs scored, junior Ian Stankus was 1-3 with a stolen base, senior Mike Bilski was 1-3 with an RBI, and senior Andrew Rademacher was 1-2.
Defensively, senior southpaw Austin Stephens got the start and took the loss. Stephens threw 4-2/3 innings while giving up five runs, five walks, four hits and struck out three. Fellow senior southpaw Joe Kropiewnicki came in to get an out. He pitched a third of an inning. Leinesch finished up the game, going one inning and giving up a run, walking three and striking out one batter.
In the second game, the Rams jumped ahead of their opponents, Bedford North Lawrence, right away. They scored a run in each of the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.
The run in the first came when Nostrant was hit by a pitch and moved over to third base by a DiLeo single. Nostrant then scored on a wild pitch. In the third, the Rams manufactured a run with a DiLeo single, advance to third on an errant pickoff throw, and a ground ball from Boonstra. In the fourth, junior Shain Showers walked and moved to third on a Jesse Edick single. He then scored on a double steal attempt. In the sixth, it was Showers scoring again with a double, a sacrifice bunt from freshman Kory Young, and a sacrifice fly by Farmer.
Farmer ended up 1-3. DiLeo was 2-4 with a stolen base. Showers was 2-3 with a double, two runs scored, and a stolen base. Junior Edick was 1-2 as well.
Kropiewnicki got the start for the Rams. He went five innings and gave up three runs, five hits, two walks and struck out five. Showers came on in relief of Kropiewnicki. He picked up the tough loss, going 1-1/3 innings while giving up two runs, two hits, a walk and struck out two.
Rockford was slated to play two other tough Indiana teams on Saturday, April 9, but were sent packing for Michigan due to some pretty nasty weather. They open up the conference with Grandville this week with games at Grandville on Wednesday, April 13, and back at home on Friday, April 15.