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Grand Haven baseball team finds some late-game magic to win first regional championship in program history

Duncan MacLean • Jun 10, 2017 at 8:29 PM

Every championship run usually involves a few breaks going a team’s way in tense moments of important games. For the 2017 Grand Haven baseball team, those breaks have seemingly come in every clutch spot the team has found itself in.

The Buccaneers continued their improbable postseason run with back-to-back comeback wins in the Division 1 regional at Jenison High School on Saturday to capture the first regional championship in the program’s history.

After a thrilling 6-3 win over Byron Center in the regional semifinals, in which the Buccaneers scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that this team felt like it had another magical run left in them.

And lo and behold, they did.

After falling behind 1-0 to the Grandville Bulldogs through five innings of play in the Division 1 regional championship game, the Buccaneers captured that magic once again.

In the top of the sixth inning, Max Schweikert recorded an RBI single to knot the game at 1-1 and crank up the intensity in the ballpark as the game entered the final frame with a regional title on the line.

The Buccaneers didn’t flinch, however, and in the top of seventh inning, Sean Casey delivered the game-winning hit when he knocked home an RBI single that scored Jake Hansen and gave Grand Haven a narrow 2-1 lead with just three outs to play.

The Buccaneer defense would hold serve in the bottom half of the inning and send the Buccaneer faithful into jubilation as the team captured its first regional championship in the modern playoff era.

Schweikert picked up the win from the mound, going all seven innings, allowing only three hits, one run, two walks and striking out one batter.

Kyle Hoover led the Buccaneers at the plate with a team-high three hits, while Casey and Schweikert each added one RBI and Joey Zelenka and Brandon Tuuk each recorded two singles.

Grand Haven advances to play Saginaw Heritage in the Division 1 quarterfinals on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Central Michigan University.

For more on Saturday’s regional championship run, check out Monday’s edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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