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Spring Lake baseball sweeps Senior Night

Duncan MacLean • May 23, 2018 at 1:12 AM

SPRING LAKE — The Spring Lake baseball team’s seniors finished their home career in style Tuesday night with a pair of late decisions, including a Game 2 walkoff.

The Lakers hosted O-K Blue Conference opponent Grand Rapids Catholic Central for a doubleheader, winning Game 1, 8-5, and Game 2, 3-2.

A five-run sixth inning sealed a comeback victory in the opening game, but it took a far more dramatic seventh-inning walk-off bunt to win Game 2.

“They don’t ever give up, especially on each other,” said Spring Lake head coach Jeff Lindsey. “You can put anybody in there and they will take care of business.

“It feels great. Last year they took three from us. They really took it to us at their place and beat us pretty good here at home. You never want to get beat at home. So this feels pretty good.”

Photo Gallery: Spring Lake baseball sweeps GRCC

Rylan Peets took the Game 1 start, throwing six innings while giving up four runs (two earned), with eight strikeouts and two walks. C.J. Saxe came in to pitch one-third of an inning of relief to take the win. Jimmy Duer picked up the save in the final inning.

Isiah Lindsey finished 2-for-2 in Game 1 with a walk and one run scored. T.J. Cunningham went 2-for-3 with one walk and one run scored, while Austin Schubert finished 1-for-2 with two runs scored and one walk.

Down 3-5 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Lakers refused to quit, stringing together five runs in the inning through two pitching changes by the Cougars. They employed savvy base running, timely hitting and tuned technique to score off a wild pitch, a bunt and a few singles.

Game 2 came down to the wire. Lindsey threw a gem through six innings before working through a tough seventh inning to pick up the win. He gave up three hits, one walk and two hit batsmen, both in the seventh inning. Two runs scored, both earned and both in the seventh inning, and he picked up three strikeouts.

David Rumptz led the offense, going 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Schubert went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base. Zach Keyser finished 2-for-2 with a run scored.

Schubert got the Lakers on the board early, batting home Mason Holmes after he legged a double in the second inning.

In the sixth, Spring Lake made it 2-1 with a stalwart two-out stand. Keyser got things started with a single, pushed to second on a single by Schubert and to third on a single by Jack Leech. Finally, Griffin Lorimer beaned a run home, taking a pitch to the elbow to send Keyser back to the plate.

Catholic Central made a run in the top of the seventh, putting a man on third base after a walk and a sacrifice double. Linsey then put the tying run on base with a beanball and sent both runners home, giving up back-to-back singles before escaping the jam tied 2-2.

Rumptz kicked off the all-important seventh inning with a single, followed by an attempted bunt by Peets. The pitch came in low, forcing Peets to pull back his bunt allowing the ball to hit his foot. Rumptz took second base.

The umpires ruled the pitch a ball in the dirt, leaving Rumptz on second, and did not award Peets his base.

On the next pitch, Peets landed the bunt and took off for first. The throw went sailing over the Catholic first baseman, sending Rumptz galloping home for the walk-off win.

“All I was trying to do was move David up,” Lindsey said. “They gave us an opportunity when they said Rylan wasn’t hit. He is a good bunter, so I thought let's get him up so we have two chances to score instead of one all the way from second.

“He’s been one of our main hitters all year, but he has been struggling a bit lately. It worked out perfectly.”

The victory puts the Lakers in the thick of the O-K Blue championship race after finishing dead last a year ago.

“These seniors have earned it this year after a tough season last year,” Lindsey said. “I give this all to them. They deserve it.

“I told them lets win today and put us in the conversation. Let's win today and not finish tied for third. We need to win Thursday and we will see how Comstock Park and West Catholic do, but we are in it.”

The Lakers return to action Thursday in a must-win Game 3 at Catholic Central at 4:15 p.m.

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