The awards and accolades continue to roll in for the 2011 Division I baseball state champions, Rockford Rams. The Rams were recognized by the West Michigan Whitecaps, the single-A minor league affiliate for the Detroit Tigers. Rockford was only the second West Michigan high school baseball team to win the Division I title in the last 40-plus years, and the Whitecaps recently took time out to recognize the feat. The pre-game ceremony capped the last few weeks of post-championship season recognition for the state champs. Not only did the Rams finish number one in the state of Michigan, but they were recently recognized by USA Today as the number eight team in the Midwest region, which included baseball hotbeds such as Oklahoma and Kansas. The region also includes Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota and Michigan. The Rams were also ranked in the top 100 teams nationally by USA Today. Rockford had many All Conference, All District, All Region and All State players. One player, Joe Kropiewnicki, was selected as an All State Dream Team player. Ram Head Coach Ian Hearn earned Coach of the Year honors for Division I in Michigan as well. In addition to the recognition, the state championship game pitting Rockford against Temperance-Bedford has been replayed twice on Fox Sports Network (FSN) television. Ram baseball fans have plenty to cheer about and memories that will last a lifetime. Congratulations, once again, to the fine young men and outstanding coaches for Rockford Baseball.
Rockford Rams baseball
The Rams did what they have done all year. They used quality pitching, solid defense and clutch hitting to grind out a win against the Temperance Bedford Kicking Mules in the state title game in Battle Creek on June 18. Four of the seven playoff games from districts to the state title game were one-run ballgames, and the Rams came out on top in all of them. They seem to have a “never say die” attitude and someone always steps up to do whatever it takes to get the job done. It was no different Saturday afternoon for the program’s first state title in baseball. Rockford was out-hit by Temperance Bedford (TB) 6-8, but not outplayed. The Rams faced one of the toughest left-handed pitchers in the state in Trent Szkutnik, but took advantage of walks, a hit batter and timely hits to beat him. The game began with TB getting on the board first by scoring a run in the first inning with two base hits. In the bottom of the first, Szkutnik walked the first three Ram batters to load the bases but then got two shallow fly balls and a strikeout to end the threat. Senior left-hander, Joe Kropiewnicki held TB scoreless in the second with a 1-2-3 inning. In the bottom of the second for the Rams, Ian Stankus was hit by a pitch and moved over to second base by an Andrew Rademacher ground ball. Drew Farmer came through with a base hit to score Stankus, putting the Rams on the board. Kropiewnicki threw another scoreless inning in the third, highlighted by Rademacher tracking down a deeply hit fly ball by Mules hitter Jackson Lamb at the warning track. In the Ram half of the inning, shortstop Shain Showers deposited a letter high fastball from Szkutnik far over the left field fence for a solo homerun to put the Rams ahead 2-1. In the fourth inning, the Mules scored one more with two outs in the inning when they had a triple, a walk and a single. That tied the game at 2-2. In the bottom half, the Rams threatened with two outs as well, when Farmer walked and Brandon Nostrant was hit by a pitch, but Szkutnik escaped any […]
The Rockford Rams varsity baseball team has won their last five match-ups in a row. Making up for a cancelled game from April 27 due to rain, the Rams took on Grandville for two games on Wednesday, April 29, with Rockford winning 3-2 for both. The following Friday, May 1, Muskegon visited Rockford for another Ram victory, 6-2. On Saturday, May 2, Holland traveled to Rockford for a double-header, but lost to the Rams 11-3 and 11-1. The Rams’ next game is Friday, May 8 at East Kentwood at 4:30 p.m.