The Rams didn’t have anyone get drafted in the MLB draft this year. It’s not that they didn’t have talent—they certainly did. But they didn’t rely on the pitcher who throws 90+ or the hitter who hit 20 homeruns. What they did have was a never-give-up attitude, a mantra of GBED (Get Better Every Day) and inspiration in the form of an 11-year-old boy. Coach’s son, Ian Hearn Jr., had to have two heart surgeries as the Rams prepared to go into the playoffs. It was a source of inspiration as they resolved to win for Ian Junior. And win they did. The Rams worked their way through the districts, regionals, quarterfinals and semifinals until they got to the title game and won the state championship—a first for Rockford baseball. Thankfully, the surgeries for Ian Junior were successful as well. There wasn’t any one player who carried the team on their back. It was a total team effort from day one. The Rams had adversity and distractions along the way, but worked through them like a true family. The guidance and instruction from the coaching staff allowed the team to stay focused and on track to accomplish what had not previously been done at Rockford. In a school the size of Rockford, playing in the tough OK Red conference, it’s hard to believe there would be freshmen mature and talented enough to be part of a state championship-caliber varsity team. Kory Young is one such player. Young could have stayed at the junior varsity level and received more playing time, but chose to stay at varsity and gain valuable experience that will certainly serve him well in the years to come. He batted .333 and was a great utility player when the Rams needed him. He will certainly be one of the bright spots in the future for Ram baseball. Two other freshmen were pulled up for the playoffs: Reid Kelley and Brent Showers. Kelley is a fireballing right-handed pitcher and will likely be a big part of future Ram success. He gained some valuable experience and will no doubt be looked to as a team leader in the years to come. Showers’ situation was a bit different. Tony DiLeo, the junior everyday catcher, was […]
In a match-up between the number two team in the state (Hudsonville) and the number nine team in the state (Rockford), the Rams came out on top. Game one was played in Rockford this past Tuesday, May10, and game two was played at Hudsonville on Thursday, May 12. Rockford then traveled to Okemos for a double header, but only got one game in due to the inclement weather on Friday, May 13. In the first game against Hudsonville, the Rams’ starting pitcher Bryan Baldwin took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. The first two innings, he retired the Eagles in order, faced only four batters in the third and fourth, and then faced five batters in the fifth—all without giving up a hit. Baldwin gave up his first hit in the sixth with two outs, a single to Hudsonville’s Tyler Baar. It was a shutout going into the seventh inning with the Rams up 3-0. Baldwin gave up a leadoff hit and then got two quick ground ball outs. After a second hit and a walk, Coach Ian Hearn made a pitching change, bringing in Shain Showers from shortstop. Showers has done an outstanding job all year, but struggled a bit with the zone, as he walked two batters. Several of the pitches could have gone either way and it would have been a dramatically different outcome. With left-handed hitting Baar coming up again, Hearn made another pitching change, bringing in senior lefty Austin Stephens. As Stephens entered the game, it was Rockford 3 and Hudsonville 2 with the bases loaded. Stephens struck out Baar on three straight pitches to get the save and notch the win for the Rams. Baldwin picked up the win going 6-2/3 innings, while giving up just three hits, two runs, five walks and struck out four. Offensively, the Rams outhit the Eagles by a slim margin (4-3). All three runs came in the third inning when Drew Farmer and Brandon Nostrant were both hit by pitches from Hudsonville’s Baar. Showers then moved them over with a sacrifice bunt and Tony DiLeo followed with a two RBI double. Senior Christian Leinesch then singled and Ian Stankus hit a ground ball to score the third run. Leading the way offensively were […]
Rockford baseball is pleased to announce that senior Bryan Baldwin has officially signed a letter of intent with Spring Arbor University (SAU). Baldwin will be joining former Ram standout Shane Street (2009). Baldwin was recruited as a pitcher. SAU has recently made back-to-back trips to the NAIA World Series. The SAU team was semifinalist in 2008, and was runner-up in 2007. SAU head baseball coach Sam Riggleman has been recognized two times by the NAIA with National Baseball Coach of the Year honors. In 2009, as a sophomore, Baldwin helped lead the Rams to their first OK Red conference title in 21 years with his outstanding pitching. In 2010, he continued to improve and was rewarded with First Team OK Red All Conference and All District accolades. Baldwin, the hard-throwing “righty,” is also regarded as one of the top pitchers in West Michigan. In the summer, Baldwin plays travel baseball for Rockford Team Ram. Team Ram is coached by Rockford High School varsity assistant coach Steve Fusee. Baldwin is the son of Ken and Prisilla Baldwin of Rockford.
The Rockford varsity baseball team hosted and defeated Grand Haven on Wednesday, May 12, in a game that was rescheduled due to rain. The Rams scored early and never looked back. Their potent offense struggled as they only garnered three hits on the day. Fortunately, Bryan Baldwin pitched with his normal effectiveness and the Rams went on to win the game 5-0. Offensively, the three singles in the game were hit by Evan Smith, Christian Lienesch, and Baldwin. All other base runners reached by error, fielder’s choice or walk. Baldwin took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before giving up his only hit on the day, a double by the leadoff batter in the top of the seventh. Impressively, Baldwin didn’t walk anyone and struck out 11. “It was nice to see Bryan continue to pitch well and to see our defense continue to get better,” said Coach Hearn after the contest. This game put the Rams at 6-3 in conference and 16-5 overall. Rockford swept Grand Haven by winning their second contest 11-2 on Friday, May 14 at the lakeshore. The Rams scored four runs in the first inning, five in the fourth and two in the sixth, as their offense pounded out 13 hits and 11 runs while leaving seven runners on base for the day. Sophomore Shain Showers was productive again, leading the way on offense. Showers was 2-3 at the plate with a triple and three runs batted in. Zach Martinek also had three RBIs resulting from two timely singles. Christian Lienesch was 2-3 and John Veitengruber was 2-4. The other runs were driven in by Veitengruber, Ian Stankus, Tony Dileo and Drew Farmer. Defensively, the pitching duties were handled by fellow junior left-handers, Austin Stephens and Joe Kropiewnicki. Stephens was effective and received his fourth win of the season. He went five innings, while giving up five hits, one walk, and striking out six. He really was never in trouble other than a 390-foot fly ball that speedy centerfielder Lienesch tracked down for an out. Stephens also picked off two base runners on the day. Kropiewnicki came in for the sixth and seventh innings, and was effective in securing the win for the Rams. “Krop” pitched two innings while giving […]