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Spring Lake baseball team caps off turnaround season with district crown

Josh VanDyke • Jun 4, 2018 at 1:06 AM

SPRING LAKE — As the final out was called, every Spring Lake baseball player at Hickman Field threw their gloves and hats in the air and dogpiled together in jubilation Saturday as the Lakers captured the Division 2 district championship with a 5-0 shutout win over Coopersville.

The Lakers scored three runs in the first inning and added one run each in the fifth and seventh inning to advance to next weekend's regional semifinals at Hope College.

The Lakers will play Middleville Thornapple Kellogg at 11 a.m. with a chance to play the winner of Grand Rapids West Catholic and Hudsonville Unity Christian for a regional championship.

Spring Lake survived a wild 4-3, extra-inning slobberknocker with Kenowa Hills in the semifinal round to advance to the finals.

In the finals, the Lakers' starting pitcher, Isiah Lindsey, put the team on his back, going all seven innings without giving up a run, giving up only two hits and striking out three.

Lindsey also knocked in a pair of runs, while David Rumptz had a hit and scored two runs and Griffin Lorimer had a hit and scored once.

In the semifinals, Rumptz added two RBIs, while Lindsey had one.

"We've talked about it all year, but this senior leadership is special," said Spring Lake head coach Jeff Lindsey. "They never gave up. We were down by three in the first game and the seniors pulled everyone together and rallied the troops.

"We can do the coaching, but when your seniors are holding kids accountable and keeping the team together, that's when you have a chance to win a championship like this. We just kept chipping away and we made the plays late in the game when we absolutely had to have them.

"That first win really pushed us over the edge and gave us all the momentum we needed to finish it out in the finals. To beat a ranked team in the semifinals against the team that everyone was expecting to win the tournament was awesome for these kids."

In the finals, Lindsey got a chance to watch his son put together a gem of a performance from the mound to fuel the Lakers to a district championship.

"Isiah was excellent from the mound in the second game," added Lindsey. "He kept them off the bases, and we kept swinging at the plate and had some timely hits. That's what it takes to win the postseason."

The chance to win a district championship on their own home diamond was a special moment for all the Lakers, especially after a turbulent 2017 season that saw the Lakers go 3-15.

"It's unbelievable. It's something you dream about when you start a season," continued Lindsey. "For it to come true this spring, with this group of seniors, was special. We finished second in the conference, we really pushed to meet all of our goals, and we are going to keep pushing next weekend to keep this thing going.

"We are playing with house money at this point. We don't have anything to lose and we are going to out there and enjoy this moment we have."

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