By John Raffel MCB Hit Dogs Orange was among the champions crowned Sunday in the final day of the Game Day USA national championships at Art Van Sports Complex. The tournament started on Thursday. In the 12U division, Hit Dogs defeated Diamonds 4-3 in the title game. In pool play, Hit Dogs defeated Michigan Blue Jays 8-5, West Michigan Elite Thunder 4-3 and Crystal Lake Bombers 7-1 and then lost to the Bridgeport Bombers 10-2. In bracket play, Hit Dogs defeated West Ohio Big Dogs 10-1 and Diamonds Fury 4-2 to set up the title game with Diamonds Dynamite. Dorren Audia coached the Hit Dogs who were 6-1 for the weekend. The key of the last game “was some timely hitting and great pitching from Luke Benedict,” he said. “It was fantastic.” Benedict “threw three innings Thursday, did a great job and won that game for us,” Audia said. “He came back and threw six for us (Sunday). He challenged the hitters. He didn’t walk too many guys. His curveball was working today. Whenever you can keep guys off balance like that, it’s going to help.” It wasn’t easy to single out anyone. “It was a great team effort all weekend from there guys,” Audia said. “Every single guy contributed. The pitching was fantastic.” He said it was a victory that made his team’s season. “It was a great way to end our season,” Audia said. “Like I told them before the game, not too many guys get to end their season with a win. We had an opportunity to do that today.” Art Van Sports Complex was the main site for the weekend championships. “I thought it was great,” Audia said. “The weather was fantastic. The fields were fantastic. I could not have asked for a better way to end the season.”
Sports news from Rockford Public Schools
By John Raffel Amateur baseball at its finest is in the final weeks of action for its summer schedule. But the Art Van Sports Complex will continue to be the site of some of the state’s best amateur baseball even through the fall months. Chad Kryska is the director of the Grand Rapids Amateur Baseball League. “We’ve been in existence for quite some time,” he said. “It’s a bunch of travel baseball teams we put together. This is our first year we’ve played at Art Van (Sports complex).” Ages of players have been from 9 to 16. The 11 to 16-year-old divisions have been at Art Van. There’s over 60 teams in the league. Games are played during the summer season Monday through Thursday starting in April. Kryska said five to six fields are used each game day. “We’re looking to expand next year and use more,” he said. “We had played before in Grand Rapids at different fields.” Art Van has “work out well so far,” he said. “We have some teams in the Rockford area. Most are in the Grand Rapids, Lakeshore area, the surrounding Grand Rapids area, for sure.” The league started at Art Van on April 20 and ends this week. “We haven’t had any standings or anything like that,” he said. A fall league starts up Aug. 23 at Art Van Sports Complex.
“The Diamonds Rams 13U baseball team won the championship of the 13U division of the Thornapple Valley Baseball Travel Tournament on July 12 in Ada, Michigan. The team was a hard-fought 5-0 in tournament play. The Rams also won the championship at the BPA, “The Ketchum”, Baseball Tournament on May 3, played in Marshall, Michigan.”
Rockford has historically taken on pretty much all comers when the football season makes it’s annual appearance in the late summer/ early fall time period. Lowell, Muskegon, Birmingham Brother Rice, Holt, Caledonia and many other Michigan powerhouses have dotted the schedule over the last few decades. But the 2015 schedule has probably ascended to the top of the list when it comes to difficulty. As if playing in the OK Red isn’t challenging enough, the Rams will face off with a pair of state title game runners up, a state semifinalist, and a talented Caledonia team that pounded them to the tune of 42-0 last year. No fewer than seven playoff teams stand ready to make things difficult for the Rams to extend their playoff streak to 21 consecutive years. The year kicks off with a trip to Saline on Friday, August 28th. The Hornets were 12-2 last year and made it all the way to the Division 1 title game where they lost an exciting 33-25 contest to Clarkston. Rockford then hosts Holt in a battle of Rams that has become a yearly event over the last several years. That will be followed up with another trip on the road to face another defending state runner-up when the Rams travel to Muskegon Mona Shores to take on a powerful Sailor team that finished 12-2 before falling to Warren De La Salle 44-8. Rockford eked out a 10-7 win over Mona Shores last year and the Sailors will be aching for revenge. A resurgent Grandville team that made the playoffs for the first time in several years is the next opponent after the once proud program rebounded from a slew of off seasons to become a force to be reckoned with last year. Rockford will then get the chance to exact a measure of revenge for last year’s dismantling by Caledonia that was as thorough a beating as a Ram team has taken in years. That will be followed up by a contest with another resurgent program when the Rams face off with an East Kentwood team that ended up 11-2 before falling to Clarkston 35-13 in the Division 1 semis. East Kentwood ended a long spell of frustration when they throttled Rockford 35-3 last […]
The Rockford Little League 12 U Baseball All Star Team recently took home their 3rd District 9 Championship in a row. The team remained undefeated in District play by defeating Byron Township 11 – 6 for the 2015 District 9 Title on Saturday July 18th. This group of All Stars also won the District 9 Championship in 2014 and 2013. The Rockford 12U All Star baseball team advances to the State Tournament held in Harper Woods, MI. State pool play begins Saturday, July 25th. Teams that advance beyond pool play enter State Final rounds which begin on Tuesday, July 28th. The tournament concludes with the 12 U Baseball All Star State of Michigan Champion being crowned after the game on Thursday July 30th. All eyes will be on Rockford at Harper Woods as they return to the State Tournament defending their 2014 State Championship Title. Rockford 12 U Baseball All Star players are: Caden Currie, Owen DeVries, Caleb Engelsman, Ryan Frommeyer, Adam Goushaw, Nate Herblet, Sam Krist, Luke McLean, Jackson Moseley, Ethan Nash, Brendan Scheuller, Nicholas Silverman, and Isaac Toole. The team is managed by Josh Scheuller along with coaches Dan McLean and Michael Herbleet.