Varsity baseball wins Eagle Sader Invite in grand fashion
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FHC varsity baseball took home three huge wins this weekend to win the Eagle Sader tournament put on by Hudsonville High School. Early standout pitching from junior Nate Doolittle along with sound defense led to a ten inning victory, 4-3 over Jenison in their opening game. The bats provided the punch in wins against Hudsonville, 10-6, and Bay City Western 16-15. All three games were high scoring affairs.
Nate came up huge in the effort to take down Jenison Saturday morning, tallying 13 K’s in six and a third innings. Pitching kept the Rangers in the ballgame, as the bats did not come alive until the bottom of the seventh when sophomore Adam Tellier came up huge with a two-run RBI single. After tying it 3-3, the Rangers went into a ten inning battle with the Wildcats of Jenison.
As the Rangers came to hit in the bottom of the tenth, the offense threatened right away. Between a Reed Aleck single and intentional walks to juniors Jake Heilman and Nate Doolittle, the Rangers had the bases loaded with one out. The stage was set for junior Johnny Irish.
After firing a ball down the third base line, the attempted throw to the plate was wide and in the dirt. The Rangers walked off the Wildcats on their own field.
Carrying the momentum right into the next outing, the Rangers jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead after four. Johnny, after pitching three shutout innings against Jenison, got the call against Hudsonville. He went four more giving up two runs, with only one earned.
The offensive surge was made by a platoon of Rangers with seniors Brett Vanwagoner and Mark Scannell, Nate, Johnny, and Jake all picking up RBI’s. The Rangers eventually picked up the win after a stellar inning and two-thirds from junior Miko Rodriguez, striking out three while giving up an unearned run.
One final task was left for an undefeated Ranger team: the Bay City Western Warriors. After losing via mercy last season 17-2, the mountain was set to climb.
Adam was given the ball for the championship and got off to a rough start. Six in the first and another coming in the second, the Warriors got off to a quick start.
In the bottom of the third, the comeback began as Jake and Mark both had two-run singles to bring the score back to 7-4. The parade did not stop there.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Rangers put on a whopping seven runs to storm out to an 11-8 lead. Miko and Adam came up huge with two-run singles along with Mark racking up two more.
Bay City wasted no time to retake the lead, with five of their own in the top of the fifth to take a 13-11 lead. Senior Sean Wing then singled in a run and scored one of his own in a big bottom of the sixth. The Rangers again retook a lead in this rollercoaster, 16-13.
Senior Jon Martin was the man to get the final say, as he maneuvered his way through the Warriors lineup. Jon picked up his first win 16-15, capping one of the greatest comebacks in Ranger baseball history. All of this leaving the Rangers undefeated and tournament champions.
The next opportunity for the team to pick up wins is Tuesday, taking on Muskegon Mona Shores in a non-conference doubleheader.