Dillon Groover loves pitching against Fruitport.
The Lakers’ senior upped his career mark against the rival Trojans to 3-0 with a victory in Game 1 of Tuesday’s key Lakes Eight Conference doubleheader.
Groover then got hot at the plate in Game 2, helping the Lakers complete the sweep.
“I feel like the last three years, I’ve had good luck against Fruitport,” Groover said after the Lakers took Game 2, 14-5 in five innings. “Every time I’ve pitched against them in varsity, we’ve gotten the win. It feels good to beat Fruitport. I know a lot of kids on that team, and it feels good to beat people you know.”
Groover was hitting his spots early in Game 1, an 8-6 Lakers’ victory. He cruised through the first three innings before allowing two runs in the third.
He settled down and shut out the Trojans over the next several innings. The Lakers pushed four runs across in the bottom of the sixth for an 8-2 lead, so coach Jeff Lindsey sent Groover back out to pitch the seventh, hoping to get one more inning out of his ace.
Instead, the Trojans teed off on Groover, forcing David Gnegy to come in and try to close out the game. Fruitport made it 8-6 and had a runner on third with two outs when Winicki ripped a shot toward left field. Lakers’ third baseman Isac Bench made a leaping stab to catch the ball and end the threat, and the game.
“He’s playing great defense for us at third base,” Lindsey said of Bench. “Dillon did a great job today. This was his best outing of the year. He was focused right away. This is probably one of the best hitting teams we’ve seen, other than Grand Haven, and he did his job."
Groover finished with 10 strikeouts while allowing three hits and three walks.
In Game 2, the Lakers’ bats got hot early as they pushed five runs across the plate in each of the first two innings.
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