Lakers winless at emotional Bernard Memorial

An emotional start to Saturday's Mike Bernard Memorial Invitational saw the late Mike Bernard's grandson, Brady Hill, throwing out the first pitch. Unfortunately, Spring Lake's varsity baseball team couldn't channel that emotion into a win on the diamond as the Lakers dropped both games in the seventh annual tournament. The Lakers opened with a 7-2 loss to West Ottawa, then later fell to St. Joseph, 15-4. Mike Bernard was a longtime supporter of Spring Lake athletics and announcer for the Lakers' baseball team who passed away in 2004.
Matt DeYoung
May 9, 2011

“Every year we look forward to this as a coaching staff and players, and it’s so cool when the Bernard family’s out there,” Lakers’ coach Brian Sabo said. “There aren’t a lot of dry eyes out there on the mound. This year it was neat because his grandson threw out the first pitch. It was an emotional moment, just a real nice way to start the day.”

The Lakers put up a solid fight against the Panthers in Game 1 thanks to a sparkling effort from sophomore Adam Clauss. Making his first pitching start of the season, Clauss struck out four and allowed just three runs in five innings.

“That was a big surprise,” Sabo said of Clauss’ outing. “He throws strikes and he’s got a nice curve, and he had them off-balance. I was really quite pleased. He’s really made a bid to be that No. 2, No. 3 pitcher for us.”

J.P. Batts, Nic Bectel and Michael Dillingham each had two hits for the Lakers, who had 11 hits in the game but missed out on several key scoring chances.

In Game 2, St. Joseph pounded out 11 hits and took advantage of 10 walks to run away from the Lakers. Bectel and Batts again had two hits each while Clauss, Michael Zietlow and Tony Sabo added base hits.

“We certainly would like to see wins, but the day provided a number of positives for us,” Sabo said. “Adam’s performance on the mound and the fact that we hit the ball well stand out. We had 18 hits on Saturday and 23 on Friday — evidence that we’re making progress at the plate.”

Spring Lake, now 5-7 overall, will look to improve on its 4-2 Lakes Eight Conference record with a home doubleheader against Orchard View on Tuesday.

BUCS 2ND AT BLISSFIELD

Grand Haven’s varsity baseball team went 2-1 and took second place at Saturday’s Blissfield Invitational. The Buccaneers scored victories over the host school as well as Southgate Anderson and suffered a loss to Adrian.

The Bucs opened up against Blissfield and won 8-1 thanks to a sparkling pitching outing by Cody Otting. The senior went seven innings, allowing just five hits, one walk and one run while striking out six batters.

The Bucs’ Doug Zelenka and Will VerDuin each had two hits and two RBIs while Matt Kroll and Zelenka each scored twice.
In Game 2, the Bucs’ bats were silenced by Adrian pitcher Caleb Ebeling, who gave up just three hits ‚ one each by Andy Davis, Zelenka and Jeff Stevens.

Brody Anderson suffered the loss for the Bucs, allowing three hits and three runs in three innings of work. The Bucs committed three errors against Adrian.
Game 3 of the tournament saw the Bucs bounce back with a dominating 10-3 victory over Southgate Anderson, which gave Grand Haven second place in the tournament.

The Bucs jumped out to an 8-0 run in the bottom of the first inning and cruised to victory. Zelenka and Adam Poel each had two hits while Danny Cotter drive in a pair of runs. Stevens and Poel each scored twice for the Bucs.

Cotter earned the win for Grand Haven, allowing five hits but just one run over three innings. Cody Sutton, Poel and Justin Simmer combined to shut down Southgate Anderson over the final four innings.

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