Rockford defeats Hudsonville in Little League Majors Division District 9 championship game

District 9 Majors champions are Rockford’s team of (front row, l–r) bat boy Luke McLean, Wendell Lanphear, Devin Korf, Khale Showers, Trey Herblet, Jackson Danner, bat boy Nate Herblet; (back row) Coach Lee, Logan Lee, Paul Reinke, Jason Whitaker, Coach Showers, Conner Walstad, Mel Moseley Jr., Jake McLean, and Coach McLean. Photo by MARY MOSELEY

Logan Lee struck out 10 in 5-1/3 innings to lead Rockford to its first District 9 Majors baseball championship on Sunday, July 15, 3-0 over Hudsonville.

“This is the first time in 20 years we’ve had a Rockford team in the state tournament,” said Rockford Little League President Warren Lanphear.

Lee, a tall pitcher with a strong fastball, had an exceptional performance in the title game.

“I don’t think I’ve had this type of game before,” Lee said. “It was just a great team effort, and I’m really looking forward to the state tournament.”

The Rams were able to break through a scoreless tie in the second inning with two outs when the number seven hitter, Khale Showers, reached base on a single up the middle. The number eight hitter, Trey Herblet, also singled with a hit up the middle. Jackson Danner, number nine hitter, then drove in the first run of the game with a clutch two-out hit down the right field line.

The Rams were able to hold Hudsonville scoreless with solid pitching and defense. The Rams added two insurance runs in the top of the sixth inning when Wendell Lanphear stole home on a wild pitch and Jake McLean had a hard hit to the outfield to score Showers. Showers successfully relieved Lee in the bottom of the sixth after Lee reached the 85-pitch maximum.

Vicksburg and Schoolcraft are hosting the 2012 Majors state championship July 20-28. Rockford Coach Scot Showers knows his team will have to be all business moving forward.

“We’ll have a couple practices, and then we’ll get after it,” Coach Showers said. “We worked hard all season and won with both our bats and our pitching.”

Mitchell Ross led Hudsonville with two hits and struck out four as pitcher.

“It was a battle,” said Hudsonville Coach Dave Krombeen. “We had a great run all week.”

Rockford was the only team to beat Hudsonville in last year’s tournament. Both teams had to beat Pinery Park for a spot in the title game.

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