Rams kick off defense of OK Red crown

by RANDY GREGORY

 

The weather finally cooperated and the Rockford baseball team greeted the more seasonal conditions in an overwhelming fashion. The Rams scored early and often this week en route to a 3-0 start in OK Red play. East Kentwood was the unfortunate victim in all three contests as the Rams swept a doubleheader at home on Tuesday, April 23rd by scores of 11-1 and 14-2 and followed that up with a 9-4 victory at East Kentwood on Thursday, April 25th.

“Baseball is a game of rhythm and we finally got a chance to get back on the field and compete.” said Rockford varsity baseball coach Ian Hearn. “The bats really came alive for us and we never stopped hitting as a team over the course of the week. It was almost a shock to walk out and have a day where it was sunny and 65 degrees. We got off to a solid start in the league and now we just have to continue to build on it over the balance of the season.”

Reid Kelley and Alex Hertel were dominating on the mound for Rockford in Tuesday’s twin bill. Both went the distance in the mercy-rule shortened games. Kelley allowed one run on four hits while striking out seven over his six-inning stint. Hertel gave up two runs and four hits during his five innings on the hill while fanning nine.

Brent Showers tossed the first six innings in Thursday’s tilt and allowed three earned runs and six hits while whiffing eight.  Ryan Jerrils came on for the save and struck out one in a scoreless inning for the Rams.

The Rams had 13 hits as a team in the opener and outdid that with a 14-hit effort in the night cap. Tyler Pellerito had three hits in game two after getting a pair in the opener to lead the way for a suddenly potent Rockford offense. Showers and Jon Stewart also had a nice day with a pair of hits in both games. Kory Young and Steven Powell also had a pair of hits in the opener, while Steven Bilski shared that distinction with them in game two.

Matt Dileo had two hits in the Thursday contest while Young and Pellerito continued their torrid hitting with a pair of base knocks for each as well.

Rockford will return to league play on Tuesday, April 30th (too late for press) when they travel to Grand Haven to face the Buccaneers in a doubleheader. The Buccaneers will return the favor when they venture to Rockford for a single game on Thursday, May 2nd.

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