Bucs look to pick off Rams

Whatever the season, it seems that whenever a Grand Haven athletic team has a chance to advance into the state tournament, Rockford stands in the way. The Rams ended the Buccaneers' season on the basketball court this winter, and handed Grand Haven's football team its only regular-season loss this past fall. On Saturday, the Buccaneers and the Rams will meet on the baseball diamond with a berth in the regional championship game on the line. First pitch is 12:30 p.m. at Jenison.
Matt DeYoung
Jun 8, 2012

Grand Haven seniors Danny Cotter and Matt Kroll would like nothing more than to beat Rockford on their last try.

“It’s weird how that works,” said Cotter, the Bucs’ centerfielder and No. 2 pitcher. “A lot of times, when we play them, it’s late in the playoffs. They’re in our region, so we’ve got to go through Rockford.

“It seems like whenever we get going, there they are. I can’t explain how great it would be to end with a win against them.”

Beating the Rams won’t be easy. Rockford boasts a 29-4 record, including a 13-1 mark in the O-K Red Conference.

Seven Rockford players have signed to play college baseball, including Tony Dileo, bound for Eastern Michigan University, and Drew Farmer, committed to Western Michigan. Sophomore Kory Young, considered the top sophomore in the state, has already signed to play at Michigan State.

Rockford, the defending Division 1 state champion, is ranked No. 6 in the Midwest by USA Today and in the top 50 in the nation by ESPN.

The Buccaneers aren’t impressed.

“Earlier in the year, we lost to them by one run,” Cotter said. “If we can play the way we’re capable of, and if we can play our best game against one of the best teams in the state, take advantage when we have chances, we can win.”

“We’re looking forward to facing Rockford,” said Kroll, who bats leadoff and plays second base for the Bucs. “We played Rockford pretty tough in the O-K Red season. We lost to them by one up there. We have a good shot at beating them if we play well.”

Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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