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Buccaneers open with a bang

Nate Thompson • Jul 21, 2015 at 10:50 AM

  “We wanted to take that approach at the plate. We’ve encouraged guys to be more aggressive up there and come out swinging,” Wagenmaker said. “Our pitching was also outstanding. They were throwing strikes and guys made plays defensively behind them. There were no long innings. Overall, we were sharp.”

Bucs’ senior Adam Poel got the start and had a strong outing, aside from some minor control issues. He allowed only one hit through four scoreless innings of work, struck out eight and walked three. Poel flourished despite pitching conditions that were less than ideal, with blustery winds and temperatures in the low-40s.

  By the time Poel reached his pre-determined pitch count in the fifth, the Bucs had built a 6-0 lead for reliever Doug Zelenka.

Davis, a speedy junior who was called up to varsity midway through last season, singled and scored the first of the Bucs’ two runs in the first inning, as they took advantage of a pair of Dutch errors.

  “I was little scared (hitting lead-off) but once I got my rhythm up there, everything was OK,” Davis said. “We’re just trying to be aggressive up there and move some runners up and light up the scoreboard.”

  Sophomore Jeff Stevens provided more of a cushion for Grand Haven in the second, as his three-run double scored Danny Cotter, Will Mulligan and Davis. Stevens later scored in the inning after Holland botched a weak grounder off the bat of Zelenka — one of four Dutch errors.

Holland broke through for its first run in the fifth inning, coming on an RBI single from Jordan Medellin off of Zelenka.

Zelenka, a hard-throwing junior left-hander, was bailed out of a jam in the fifth when he allowed three hits, but was stellar the rest of the way, allowing only one more hit — a harmless single. He struck out a pair and walked two.

  Grand Haven’s defense — which was suspect at times a year ago — wasn’t a problem against the Dutch, with the Bucs committing only one error. New starting catcher Adam Krizan — who was celebrating his birthday — led the effort, gunning down a pair of Dutch baserunners in the fifth to preserve the Bucs’ five-run lead.

  The Bucs poured it on after Holland sent relief pitcher Danny Lawless to the mound in the sixth. Lawless couldn’t locate the strike zone in his disasterous incomplete half-inning as he walked two, hit two batters and threw two wild pitches. He also allowed Davis’ third single of the contest, and a two-run single by Poel.

  Grand Haven finished with eight hits during the contest. Zelenka had two RBIs and scored twice, while Stevens and Will Mulligan also scored two runs.

  The Bucs will get a chance to thaw out next week during their annual Spring Break trip to Florida. The team will train for a week at the former Spring Training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers in Vero Beach, Fla.

  “It’s going to be nice because it will be warm and hopefully I’ll be able to build my arm strength up,” said Davis, an outfielder. “Plus it will give us a chance to work on a lot of fundamentals.”

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