Rockford Baseball Program

Team Ram Black continues stellar summer play

July 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY The Rockford baseball program has achieved unparalleled success in recent seasons (including a state championship in 2011). One of the pillars that the team’s success has been predicated on is the summer program that nearly every Ram freshman, sophomore and junior from last season participates in. The teams are separated into two different age groups with Team Ram Black being primarily a 16-and-under team and Team Ram Orange being comprised of mostly 15-and-under players. Team Ram Black has played 18 games so far and has amassed an overall record of 12-6. The team won their own tournament to kick off summer play and has played in various venues including the baseball stadiums at Central Michigan University, Western Michigan University and Grand Valley State University. Team Ram Black has toppled state powers including the Michigan Red Sox, Lakes Dodgers, Lansing #205, Kalamazoo Maroons and Elite Baseball. “We are very pleased with the success of the team so far this summer,” said Rockford head baseball coach Ian Hearn (who is the assistant coach for Steve Fusee on Team Ram Black). “We have played several 19-and-under teams that have as many as eight college players on the roster and held our own. We have seen a lot of growth from both a physical and mental perspective from all of our players while competing against some very talented competition.” Fielding a roster of players solely from one school is not the recommended path to achieving consistent success in summer baseball tourney play. Most summer teams field players from multiple high schools, who are the cream of the crop of their various programs. But Rockford has followed their formula for several years now and more than acquitted themselves decently. The team has bonded not only in the camaraderie generated from spending time together, but also in becoming accustomed to the habits and tendencies of current and future teammates on the diamond. Team Ram Black is also occasionally hampered by having several of their players participating on other elite travel teams that may periodically conflict with their schedule. But that is no big deal, according to Hearn. “We are always trying to compete and win whenever we take the field,” said Hearn. “But that isn’t what we are […]

Rockford baseball claims third OK Red title in four years

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY It was only a few short years ago that the Rockford baseball program was viewed as an annual contender for middle-of-the-pack status in the always-difficult OK Red. That perception has changed immeasurably over the last four years, however, as the Rams slugged their way to their third league crown in the last four years. This week’s punching bag for Rockford was Grandville. Rockford routed the Bulldogs 10-0 at home on Monday, May 21, then jumped out to a 7-0 lead on Wednesday, May 23, before settling for a 7-3 triumph at Grandville. The pair of wins left the Rams at 13-1 in league play (25-4 overall) and one game ahead of Hudsonville (12-2). The Ram win streak also grew to 11 games and their confidence is growing right in lock step with their improved results. “Our goal is to get better as the season progresses and we have done that offensively, defensively and on the mound so far this year,” said Rockford Coach Ian Hearn. “GBED [Get Better Every Day] has been our motto for years, and our players realize that pertains to life as well. These young men have gotten better both on the field and off, and to see their growth has been rewarding for our entire coaching staff.” Monday’s contest was all Rockford from the start. The Rams jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings and invoked the mercy rule with a six-run fifth inning that cemented at least a share of the league crown. Brent Showers was dominant on the mound for Rockford, allowing only one hit while whiffing seven and walking only one. Ronnie Searl was the big gun offensively for Rockford with three hits (including a double) and four runs batted in (RBIs). But he had plenty of help from his teammates. Tony Dileo, Drew Farmer, Ian Stankus and Steven Powell all pitched in with a pair of hits to help key the triumph. The return engagement at Grandville appeared to be headed to the same sort of outcome as the Rams jetted out to a 7-0 lead through the first three innings. But to Grandville’s credit, they held the Rams in check for the balance of the game and tried to chip away. […]

Softball takes three of four in final warm-up for state tournament

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY   It has been an up-and-down season for the Rockford softball team in 2012. The season got off to a pretty solid start, but the Rams cooled recently as the level of opposition rose considerably. But the last few weeks have seen a bit of an uptick for the young Ram squad. Rockford began the week by pummeling Muskegon 13-0 and 18-3 in a pair of mercy rule league triumphs at Muskegon on Monday, May 21. Rockford then journeyed to Lowell for the Lowell Invitational on Wednesday, May 23. The Rams stumbled temporarily against Kenowa Hills in the semis before rallying for a 14-6 win in eight innings. But Rockford was completely stymied offensively by Lowell in the finals and lost a heartbreaking 1-0 decision. “We are peaking at the right time,” said Rockford Coach Troy Brown. “We have gone from a very young team with little experience to still a young team that has played almost forty games together. We have a lot of games under our belt and I think we have a good chance to cap off the season on a nice little run.” Ashley Mengyen got the win on the mound for Rockford in Monday’s opener against Muskegon. Mengyen went the first three innings, and Lyndsey Bettig came on to get the save by hurling the final two innings. Carmen Zeboor was the winner in the second contest with Bettig coming on to earn her second save. Offensive highlights were scattered throughout the lineup. Lexie Brown was five for six with four runs batted in (RBIs), Rachel Feinauer was four for five with four RBIs, and Zeboor added a home run and five RBIs. Ali Erbes, Madilyn Genter and Karlee Tykosky all chipped in with triples to fuel the offense. Rockford jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Kenowa Hills on Wednesday before the Knights rallied with four of their own to tie things up in the fifth. Brown made a diving catch of a suicide squeeze to temporarily save the game for Rockford in the seventh. The Rams erased all of the suspense as to the eventual outcome with a nine-run outburst in the top of the eighth inning. Kenowa Hills came up with a single run […]