FHC Baseball Goes 2-0 in Mona Shores Double Header
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FHC varsity baseball's incredible start to the season continued on Tuesday afternoon; except nobody was expecting an ending quite like this...
It has been an incredible start for FHC baseball, going on an unprecedented winning streak in the team’s first few games of the season. After their recent struggles in years past, Head coach Mark Rasmussen and company have finally unlocked the key ingredient to a winning formula, and on Tuesday night, the Rangers added two more wins to their belt.
Forest Hills Central varsity baseball took down the Mona Shores Sailors in back to back games, winning in a 13-3 mercy victory and a tighter 3-2 game. The first match up for the Rangers was a breeze, with Junior Jake Heilman starting on the mound for the afternoon. The three-year veteran held off the sailors fairly well, allowing three runs through three innings. It was the senior closer Brett VanWagoner who then stepped in for the next two innings to hold Mona Shores scoreless and force a mercy after just two more innings, winning 13-3 after five. The second game, however, was a completely different Ranger team.
FHC struggled to get out of cruise control on the offensive end in the first few innings; with senior captain Mark Scannell holding the sailors to no hits in two innings, tension rose as the rangers struggled to make contact at the plate. Things began to open up in the bottom of the second, with sophomore Adam Tellier being the first man to touch home plate after a nice single that dropped into center field from Mark. Jake Heilman then stepped up and ripped one into center field not far from Mark’s hit, giving senior pinch runner JJ Rabideau a chance to show off his wheels. JJ was able to steal second and third base, before losing his chance to head home after the Sailors held FHC to just one run that inning.
The Rangers’ hitting success continued bit by bit into the next few innings, but Mona Shores continued to fight back and find holes in the FHC infield. They managed to bring in two runs against the senior captain, and the Rangers began to look awed by the fighting power still left in Mona. More good contact from Jake Heilman and Adam Tellier allowed the Rangers to climb back and level the score to 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth.
The score stayed level and after a strong showing from Mark in the top of the third to keep the Sailors off of the scoreboard, FHC had one last chance to get themselves the game-winning run. They were right where they wanted to be in the batting order, with Texas A&M commit Miko Rodriguez awaiting the pitches from a rattled Sailor pitcher.
The man on the mound for Mona beaned Adam Tellier, allowing the Rangers to get a man on first from the get-go. The entire dugout was on its feet, hooting and hollering for whoever was up next at the plate for FHC. Michael Peliotes was the next man to take strike a stance and managed to beat the throw to first after hitting a short dink towards the third baseman. The Sailors then walked senior Sean Wing and intentionally walked Miko Rodriguez, setting the stage perfectly for the Rangers’ heavyweight slugger Reed Aleck to finish them off.
It only took one pitch for the senior to get a hold of the ball, sending it way over the heads of the outfield towards the fence. An eruption of excitement came from the home crowd and the Ranger dugout as everyone tracked the flight of the ball. After stealing second and third base, Adam Tellier jogged his way to home plate, and the entire team surrounded Reed after dumping water on him. It was a moment that those guys will certainly remember for years to come, and is a great testament to the dedication and work that this team has been putting in this offseason. After an incredible start to the season at 9-0, Forest Hills Central is now the #4 division one team in the state of Michigan.
Head coach Mark Rasmussen could not have been more happy with his boys after the two victories and credited much of his boys’ success to their spring break trip down to Georgia during spring break.
“Going down south was a big thing,” Rasmussen said. “I think we have a great deal of chemistry in this group. I love these kids and they truly do care about each other. We are a very close-knit group, and that’s only going to help us in the long run.”
Despite his side’s sweeping success, he does not want his players to lose focus on continuing to win games and improve as a whole.
“Every game, practice, and team dinner, we’ve got to be focused on our craft,” Rasmussen said. “We can’t be thinking too much when we’re up to the plate. These guys have got to just step up there and hit it. They don’t need to overthink where they’re going to place every single one of their hits, and Reed was a perfect example of that.”
Senior Reed Aleck was ecstatic after the team’s second victory, and could not be more happy with where he and his team are at.
“It feels so great to have a start like this,” Reed said. “Getting a fresh start like this has really lit a fire underneath our entire team. We’re handling our adversity better, we’re playing better, and we’re pulling out close wins like we did tonight.”
Junior Jake Heilman, a third-year returner, had a big night at the plate for FHC with three singles. He believes that the team has finally cracked the code to success.
“It’s different this year, it’s always an electric atmosphere in the dugout and this year’s team chemistry is like no other,” Jake said. “This team is always going out and getting it done, whether we’re leading by a lot or a little; we’ve always managed to find a way, and that has really been our team motto for this year.”