Ram hurler Zach Marshall earns a win against Grand Haven. ~ Photo by Jeannie Gregory
ROCKFORD – The Rams varsity baseball team travelled to Grand Haven to take on the Bucs in a huge OK Red match up, Tuesday, May 4. Both games of the double header were decided in the seventh inning, with the Rams earning two wins, even though they didn’t have the hammer. Rockford claimed the first game 3-1 and the second by an even closer margin, earning the victory by a 2-1 score. The Rams now sit atop the OK Red. The win moves their overall record to 14-6.
The first game was tied at zero until the fourth inning when Rockford was able to plate a run. The inning started with Zach Schamp leading off with a single to center field and then taking second on a wild pitch. A Cord Noble single put two Rams on with one out when Luke McLean grounded to the short stop to score Schamp and move the score to 1-0. Grand Haven tied the game in the bottom of the fifth and gave Ram Fans a scare in the bottom of the sixth with two late-inning singles with two outs, but Ram pitcher Zach Marshall shut them down on four pitches, striking out a Buc.
In the top of the seventh, a Buc error put McLean on the base path and Alex Miller and Cody Sterkenburg worked the pitcher for walks. That set the stage for a Jake Engelkes sac fly to left field to score McLean for the 2-1 lead. An Isaac Toole single to center scored Miller to move the score to 3-1. Marshall gave up a walk in the bottom of the seventh but struck out his next man and then caused a ground out and a fly out to shut down the Bucs’ hopes.
The Rams only racked up four hits for the game, with Schamp, Cord Noble, Engelkes (RBI) and Toole (RBI) each tallying a single for the Rams. Marshall earned the win going six innings and giving up one run on four hits and two walks, while striking out six. Martin earned the save going one inning giving up no runs, hits or walks, while striking out one.
In the second game, Grand Haven plated a run in the bottom of the fourth inning with the Rams answering in the top of the fifth to tie the game 1-1. Joe Kelley started off the fifth inning with a single and was followed by Isaac Toole and McLean hitting singles to load the bases for Rockford. Engelkes showed patience at the plate drawing a free ride and plating Kelley to give the Rams the run. A double play got Grand Haven out of the inning before any more damage was done. The top of the seventh inning found the game still knotted at 1-1. Kelley started off the inning with a single and showed some aggressive base running, making it to third on a couple of Grand Haven miscues. McLean came up to the plate with one out and hit a line drive to left field to score Kelley and move the score to 2-1. It was all the Rams would need as Rockford pitcher Grant Martin shut down the Grand Haven bats to earn the victory for the Rams.
The Rams were 8-for-27 as a team and Kelley had three of the hits going 3-for-4 at the plate. McLean was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Alex Miller tallied a double and Schamp and Toole chipped in a hit apiece. Toole earned the win going six innings and giving up only one run on one hit and six walks, while fanning eight. Martin got the save going one inning and giving up no runs on no hits and one walk, while striking out one.
The Rams face off against Grand Haven again, Thursday, May 9, only this time they will be at home. They will then face off against Troy in a double header, Saturday, May 11, with play starting at 10 a.m.