Spring Lake’s varsity baseball team honored longtime program supporter Michael Bernard on Saturday with a tournament held in Bernard’s honor.
The Lakers played a pair of solid games against top-flight competition but couldn’t come up with a win, falling 8-7 to Unity Christian, then tying West Ottawa 5-5 in a game that was called due to time constraints.
Bernard passed away in 2004, and since that time, the Lakers have held a baseball tournament in his memory. On Saturday, Bernard’s grandson, 3-year-old Parker Hill, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
It was a pair of youngsters who took to the mound once the games began, as the Lakers rested their varsity arms in favor of a pair of JV call-ups.
Kyle Peets started the opener against Hudsonville Unity Christian and allowed seven runs. The Lakers kept close thanks to big games at the plate from Codey Houts, who was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIS, and J.P. Batts, who had three hits and drove in a pair of runs.
Kyle Houts added a pair of hits and scored twice.
“Kyle is a freshman we pulled up from JV and he did a heck of a job,” Lakers’ coach Jeff Lindsey said. “He helped us hang around and we were able to try to pull it out at the end, but we came up short.”
Cole Ryker got the start in Game 2 and allowed just four runs in 4 1/3 innings.
The Lakers scored three times in the seventh to tie the game, but the contest was called so that the title game between St. Joseph and Unity Christian could start on time.
St. Joseph won that game, 7-1.
Against West Ottawa, J.P. Batts had the hot bat, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Kyle Houts added an RBI, while Jorge Lozano was 2-for-4 with a run driven in.
“Overall we played pretty decent ball against good competition,” Lindsey said.
BUCS SWEPT BY WEST CATHOLIC
A pair of strong pitching outings went for naught as Grand Haven’s varsity baseball team was swept by Grand Rapids West Catholic in Saturday.
In the opener, John Wickey pitched all six innings, allowing 10 hits and four runs in a 4-0 loss.
Connor Grimes had two of the Bucs’ four hits, including a double.
West Catholic also won Game 2, 5-3. Adam Carlisle threw a solid 5 1/3 innings and allowing just three runs. Jacob Miller was tagged with the loss as he gave up two runs in relief.
Grimes again paced the Bucs offensively as he went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Grand Haven had just four total hits, including a two-run base hit by Cody Jonas.
TROJANS TAKE RUNNER-UP
Fruitport lost in the finals of the Muskegon County Tournament on Saturday, 13-3.
The Trojans started with a thrilling win over Muskegon in the opener, 5-4, before beating Reeths-Puffer 7-3.
Against Muskegon, the game was tied 4-4 in the top of the seventh. Justin Wierengo reached base when he was hit by a pitch, then pinch runner Brandon Wilson stole second. With two outs, Alex Bowen hit a hard ground ball that was bobbled by the Big Reds’ first baseman, and Wilson scored from second on a close play at the plate to give the Trojans the win.
Travis Grimm earned the win on the mound.
The Trojans scored all seven of their runs in the first two innings against Reeths-Puffer, and Austin Curtis made the lead stand up as he tossed a solid game.
In the final, the Trojans fell behind 8-0 and could never catch up.
Kolin Kakatos, Andrew Slocum, Mitch Reyes, Wierengo and Jacob Breese each had five hits for the Trojans on the day, while Mitch Ferguson pitched well in relief.