Varsity baseball improves to 23-4 with weekend sweep

Varsity baseball improves to 23-4 with weekend sweep

FHC varsity baseball continued their scorching hot season on Saturday with two big wins over Grand Ledge and Grandville. Junior Nate Doolittle got the act started with a lights out performance on the mound in a 6-0 game one win over the Comets of Grand Ledge. A huge three run double from senior Sean Wing and a clutch save from senior Brett VanWagoner got the win 9-8 in nine innings.

Nate was electric Saturday afternoon. With eight strikeouts in seven innings while only allowing four hits, his stuff came together against a top ten team in the division one MHSAA rankings. The Comet’s best scoring chance came on a single and an error in the top of the fifth, quickly nullified by a fielder’s choice and a ground ball to end the inning.

It took the Rangers until the bottom of the fourth to get their own offensive spark with seniors Reed Aleck and Mark Scannell picking up knocks for the first run of the contest. After a big error from Grand Ledge, the Rangers increased their lead to 3-0.

After a single from junior Jake Heilman to load the bases, a passed ball advanced captain Sean Wing to increase the lead to 4-0.

Junior Michael Peliotes got things going yet again in the sixth with a double in the leadoff spot of the inning. After a Sean stolen base, the table was set for junior Miko Rodriguez, who stroked a ball through the middle for two RBI’s and a 6-0 Ranger lead and eventual FHC win.

Game two brought a different set of challenges. After a rocky inning from the pitching staff, FHC found themselves down 6-2 in the top of the fifth. Senior Jon Martin came up clutch with a two out RBI single to cut the lead in half, 6-3.

Sean was the man of the sixth as he hit a shot into the right center gap, clearing the bases and tying the game back up at 6-6. Reed, like Sean, came through with a double and ended up replacing Sean on second with a double and a 7-6 Ranger lead.

With an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the seventh, the Rangers kept relief man Jon in to finish the job. With one out, Grandville’s nine hitter sent one into the next millennia over the left field fence to tie the ballgame back at 8-8.

In the top of the ninth, Nate was clutch on the offensive side as opposed to defense with a huge one out single, putting FHC back on top 9-8.

The Rangers then put their faith in the southpaw Brett VanWagoner. The inning couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start, with a laser down the right field line falling fair for a quick triple for Grandville. As Brett got the ball back, a new look fell across his face. The door was to be slammed shut.

With three straight fastballs on the inside corner, Brett got a huge first strikeout to give the Rangers slim hope to get out with a win. With the infield in, Brett rolled the seven hitter into a huge out to first basemen Reed Aleck.

With a 2-2 count on the pinch hit lefty for the Bulldogs, Brett reached for a little extra and absolutely blew it by Grandville’s last hope for out number three, completing a tremendous comeback and save in the ninth. The finish was an accurate depiction of the game just fought by FHC. No one more clutch Saturday night, however, the Brett VanWagoner.

The Rangers have the opportunity to take the conference tomorrow night with double header at rival Lowell.