Monthly Archives: April, 2017

RECAP: Game Two Walkoff Bomb Gives Kalamazoo Valley Home Split with Kellogg

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After 15 consecutive losses to Kellogg, including the first three of four games this weekend, Kalamazoo Valley finally knocked off the Bruins and handed them their first MCCAA Western Conference defeat of the year Saturday.   The Cougars ended the four game series with a 8-7 walkoff home run victory in the rain from Alex Dreier.  In the first game of the afternoon, Kellogg won 12-5.

The doubleheader started two hours early in attempt to avoid a rainy weather forecast.   Although the first game stayed dry, almost the entire second game was played in a consistent rain.   Kalamazoo Valley scored once in the first inning, then added two more in the fourth for a 3-0 lead.   The powerful Kellogg offense broke the shutout in the top of the fifth on a Tanner Gross two run homer, but the Cougars used a three-run Ryan Anderson dinger and a solo bomb from Andrew Szalkowski in the bottom of the fifth for a 7-2 lead.

After an excellent first six innings, the Bruins finally got to starting pitcher Brock Emery in the seventh.   The Cougars got the first two outs, but two hits, a walk, and hit batsmen chased Emery from the game.  Joey Knapp got the final out, but surrendered a double and walk with a fielding error, allowing Kellogg to plate five in the seventh and tie the game at 7-7.  The fourth Kellogg reliever, Travis Snyder, entered in the bottom of the seventh and only threw one pitch, which Alex Dreier sent over the right field wall for the victory.   Listen to the homer below:

The win was Kalamazoo Valley’s first over Kellogg in baseball since April 9, 2011.  Dreier had two hits, two runs, and the winning RBI.  Anderson finished with three RBI on two hits and a run.  Kellogg’s Raphe Gross had three hits and a walk drown, scoring twice.   Cougar starter Brock Emery pitched 6.2 innings, allowing seven hits and seven runs.  Bruin starter Max Swan went 4.2 innings, allowing five runs and seven hits.

In the first game of the afternoon, the Cougars struck first with two runs in the first inning.   Like Friday’s two defeats, the lead didn’t hold, with Kellogg scoring thrice in the second, twice in the third and once in the fourth.   The Cougars plated one in the third, but a six-run sixth inning removed any doubt for the Bruins.   Kalamazoo Valley scored twice more in the seventh for the 12-5 defeat.

Bruin starter Joey Nate went six innings, allowing four hits and three runs, two earned, with eight strikeouts.   Cougar starter Austin Laurencig pitched 5.2 innings, allowing ten hits and ten runs.   Offensively, Kellogg saw two doubles, two runs, and two RBI by Bailey Peterson.

Kellogg wins three of four over the weekend to improve to 30-12-2 overall and 19-1 in MCCAA Western Conference play.   At the time of posting, it was unknown if they had clinched the conference crown, with game two between Grand Rapids and Muskegon in progress.   Second place Grand Rapids needed to win to stay four games behind the Bruins with them meeting Kellogg for their final four games.    The Bruins host Grand Rapids Friday at 2 p.m., then travel Saturday at 1 p.m.

Kalamazoo Valley is 18-17 overall and 13-7 in the West, good for third.   Likewise, the result of the second Grand Rapids/Muskegon games plays into the Cougars fate, as they could secure a top three finish and a trip to the Region XII tournament if fourth place Muskegon (13-10) were to lose to Grand Rapids.   Muskegon has no more remaining Western Conference games, while the Cougars have a four-game weekend series with Glen Oaks.   Friday’s games are at Kalamazoo Valley starting at 2 p.m. and can be heard on the Slocum Sports Network.   Saturday’s doubleheader at Glen Oaks begins at 1 p.m.     Before that, the Cougars travel to Lansing for two starting at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Listen back to Saturday’s games below:

GAME ONE

GAME TWO

RECAP: Kellogg Takes Home Half of Series Against Kalamazoo Valley

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The Kellogg Community College baseball team moved to 18-0 in the MCCAA Western Conference thanks to home wins Friday over Kalamazoo Valley, 11-4 and 9-6.  The Bruins jump to 29-11-2 overall with the wins while the Cougars drop to 17-16 overall and 12-6 in the Western Conference.

In game one, Kalamazoo Valley built up a 4-1 lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning.  However, the Bruins offense awoke from hibernation with seven runs on five hits and two home runs.   They added three more in the sixth to secure the 11-4 win off a six-inning start from Cole Sanderson, who allowed all four runs and seven hits.  Dakota Roberts pitched four-and-two-thirds for the Cougars, allowing five runs and six hits.

Offensively for Kellogg, Mitch Weber twice hit a two-run homer.    Raphe Gross had three hits and two runs.  Cooper Marshall scored twice with three hits and three RBI, plus Korey Knowles had three RBI and a run with a solo bomb.  For Kalamazoo Valley, Alex Dreier had three hits, one run and one RBI.

In the second game, the Cougars again built an early lead, getting two runs in the second and two more in the third, with both third inning runs on solo homers (Andrew Szalkowski & Dreier).   The Bruins added solo runs in the third and fourth, then used a four-run fifth to take a 6-4 lead.  Kalamazoo Valley tied it in the top of the sixth, but surrendered three in the bottom of the frame for a 9-6 final.  Bruin starter Alec Justin pitched four-and-a-third with five hits, four runs, and five walks.   Joey Knapp went five innings for the Cougars, allowing six runs, four earned, seven hits, and four walks with five stirkeouts.

Szalkowski had two runs, two hits and two RBI for the Cougars.   Kellogg’s Joey Nate did the same, with Bailey Peterson adding two hits, two runs, and one RBI.

The win extends Kellogg’s winning streak against Kalamazoo Valley to 14 games.  They meet again Saturday, this time at Kalamazoo Valley.   Originally scheduled for a 1 p.m. start, the doubleheader has been pushed ahead to 11 a.m. with the hopes of avoiding possible rain.   You can listen to Saturday’s games live on the Slocum Sports Network.

Listen back to Friday’s games below:

GAME ONE

GAME TWO

RECAP: Portage Central Baseball Sweeps Gull Lake

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The Portage Central Mustangs grabbed two victories over the Gull Lake Blue Devils Thursday, winning 12-2 and 4-2, both in five inning games.   The wins end a four-game losing streak for the Mustangs and puts them at 9-6 overall.   Gull Lake drops to 7-9 on the season.

Gull Lake had a brief lead in game one, starting the first inning with a Trenton Quartermaine sacrifice fly to bring in Justin Mansager.   The Mustang offense exploded in the bottom of the first, scoring five runs, highlighted by a Justin McIntyre two-run home run and a solo bomb by Max Longman.  McIntyre sent another one deep for a one-run second inning.  The Blue Devils got another sac fly in the third, but Portage Central scored thrice in the third and fourth innings to invoke the run rule after five.
McIntyre finished with four runs, two homers, and three RBI.   Austin Hirdning pitched the entire game for Portage Central, allowing five hits and two runs with seven strikeouts and two walks.

In the second game, Gull Lake again scored in the top of the first.   After loading the bases with no outs, the Blue Devils only scored once on a sacrifice fly, again with Quartermaine scoring Mansager.  Portage Central used two hits and a walk to plate two runners in the bottom of the frame and added two more in the third.   Gull Lake scored one in the fourth and loaded the bases up again in the fifth inning, but they failed to bring them home and the game was called after five due to impending darkness.

Nick Kolberg pitched all five innings for the Mustangs, allowing two runs and five hits with three strikeouts and three walks.  Cade Stanton pitched all four for Gull Lake, allowing five hits and four runs with two walks and four strikeouts.  Offensively, Longman had two hits, two RBI, and a run.  McIntyre scored twice off a single and walk.

Portage Central returns to action Tuesday at Vicksburg, which can be heard on the Slocum Sports Network with a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.   Gull Lake is back at it with a trip to Pennfield Saturday starting at 10 a.m.

Listen back to Thursday’s games below:

GAME ONE

GAME TWO

PREVIEW: MCCAA Western Conference Positioning At Stake As Kalamazoo Valley Faces Kellogg

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Listen live Friday and Saturday on the Slocum Sports Network to college baseball between the Kalamazoo Valley Cougars and the Kellogg Bruins.  Friday’s doubleheader is set for a 1:30 p.m. start at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek.  Saturday’s doubleheader is at Kalamazoo Valley starting at 1 p.m.

Both squads are fighting for the MCCAA Western Conference championship and positioning for the Region XII tournament.  Kellogg leads the West at 16-0, followed by Grand Rapids (13-3) and Kalamazoo Valley (12-4).   Each team has eight conference games remaining, with Kellogg and Grand Rapids still to meet next week in four games.     All three teams still could take the top spot and this series, along with Grand Rapids facing fourth-place Muskegon (11-9) could shake up the standings.    A best-case scenario for the Bruins locks up the title this weekend, with a best-case for the Cougars
tying Kellogg for the lead entering the final week.

Additionally, the top three teams in the conference move to the Region XII tournament and are seeded based on their finishing position.  Kellogg is already on to the tournament, as they can’t finish worse than third, but Kalamazoo Valley still has to contend with Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

Overall, the Bruins sit at 27-11-2, while the Cougars are 17-14.  Recent history has favored Kellogg with 12 consecutive Bruin wins over the Cougars, including a four-game sweep last year.   Their most recent meeting went 12 innings, ending in a 6-5 Bruin victory.   The last Kalamazoo Valley win over Kellogg came on April 9, 2011.


Listen live to all four games this weekend on the Slocum Sports Network
.  Friday’s doubleheader starts at 1:30 p.m. from Battle Creek, with action Saturday from Kalamazoo beginning at 1 p.m.

RECAP: Kalamazoo Christian Downs #13 Comstock 4-3

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The Kalamazoo Christian Comets baseball team edged the Comstock Colts 4-3 in a single-game Wednesday afternoon, pushing to Comets to 6-6 following a 1-4 start to the year.   Comstock, ranked 13th in the latest Division 3 coaches poll, falls to 8-5.

The game featured two young starting pitchers who flashed potential.   In the end, it was Comet sophomore lefty Michael Moralez getting the victory, allowing five hits, three runs, two earned, with four walks and six strikeouts over six innings.   Colt freshman righty Jared Plane went five innings, allowing four runs, one earned, and four hits with three strikeouts.

Fielding errors hurt Comstock early, allowing Kalamazoo Christian to get two runs in the first and one in the second.  Comstock scored once in the first and twice in the third to even the game at 3-3 following the third inning.   The only other run came in the bottom of the fifth as an Elliot Lemmer sacrifice fly brought in Derek McClure, who was running for Mac Block following a lead-off single.    The Colts last chance came in the seventh, drawing a lead-off walk against Moralez.  Following that, senior Alex Visser relieved him and picked up the save.    Kyle Moore had one inning of scoreless relief for Comstock.

Offensively, Travis Pease had two hits and a run for the Comets.   Shane Easter had two runs, one hit and one RBI for the Colts.  Dylan LaBrie had two hits and a RBI.

Kalamazoo Christian meets Covenant Christian for a doubleheader Friday starting at 5 p.m. from Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids.   Comstock returns to action at home Saturday at 10 a.m. for two games against Hastings.

Listen back to Wednesday’s game below:

PREVIEW: Portage Central Hosts Gull Lake

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Listen live Thursday afternoon on the Slocum Sports Network to a high school baseball doubleheader with the Portage Central Mustangs hosting the Gull Lake Blue Devils.   Game one is scheduled for a 4 p.m. ET first pitch.

Portage Central is 7-6 overall, trying to snap a four-game losing streak.  They’ve faced strong opposition over the last week, losing Tuesday 4-2 and 11-2 against Lakeshore (#12 in Division 2), and Saturday 7-1 to Vicksburg (#6 in D2) and 4-0 to Hackett Catholic (#4 in D4).   Prior to the four-game losing streak, the Mustangs had a five-game win streak, including two wins Friday over Coldwater (8-4, 5-2).

Gull Lake is 7-7 overall, most recently splitting with Mattawan Tuesday (6-5 win, 13-1 loss).  The previous week, the Blue Devils lost two tight games at Portage Northern (#15 in D1) 7-3 and 4-3.

Listen to Thursday’s games live on the Slocum Sports Network with game one set for a 4 p.m. start at Portage Central.

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo Christian Hosts Comstock

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Listen live Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network to high school baseball as the Kalamazoo Christian Comets host the Comstock Colts in a single game.

Comstock enters at 8-4, ranked 13th in the newest Division 3 poll from the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association.    The Colts split their last three doubleheaders, most recently with Buchanan on Tuesday (3-2 win, 7-1 loss).   Kalamazoo Christian is 5-6, having recovered nicely from a 1-4 start.   Last week, they drew a split against then-Division 4 #1 Hackett Catholic.   On Monday, they swept Pennfield (7-4, 13-3) in a home doubleheader.

Listen live Wednesday on the Slocum Sports Network with first pitch set for 4:30 p.m.

RECAP: Kalamazoo Valley Takes Two Against Lansing

0425171606The Kalamazoo Valley Cougars earned two big baseball wins Tuesday at home, defeating the Lansing Stars 9-8 and 5-3 in a MCCAA Western vs Eastern Conference doubleheader.   The wins give the Cougars a five-game winning streak over Lansing, adding to the three victories over the Stars last season, and gives them a three-game overall win streak entering a big weekend showdown with Kellogg.

The Cougars had to dig out of a six-run hole in the first game.  The Stars started hot with a four-run first inning.  The Cougars scored twice in the third, but Lansing plated one in the third, two in the fourth, and another one in the fifth for an 8-2 advantage.  In the bottom of the fifth, Kalamazoo Valley strung together six hits and drew three walks, giving them seven runs and a 9-8 lead.  Relievers Justyn Schoening and Joey Knapp retired the final six batters in order to secure the victory.

The offense was a balanced effort, with their ten hits spread between eight hitters and the runs between eight as well.  Jake Ellis and Brennan Vaughn each had two hits, Jimmy Cook had two runs, and Jarrett Esman, Colton White, and Austin Pratt picked up two RBI each.  Six pitchers took to the mound for the Cougars, while only two saw action for the Stars.  Starter Duncan Gillett allowed all nine runs through four-and-a-third.   Drew Cantrell picked up three RBI and a run with two hits and Ethan Vosburg had a solo home run and RBI double.

Kalamazoo Valley started ahead in game two with Dugan Dieselberg bringing home Alec Washegesic after a lead-off hit.  Lansing tied the game with a run in the second and had bases loaded with only one out, but Tyler Appelgren entered in relief and kept the game even.  A solo run in the third put the Cougars back ahead, but the Stars took control off a two-run bomb by Jake Crum in the fifth.  A lead-off error and small-ball allowed the Cougars to tie it at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth.   Two walks and a hit batsmen in the bottom of the sixth set up Ryan Anderson for what would be the game-winning two RBI single.

The wins move Kalamazoo Valley to 17-14 overall with four games ahead for the weekend against Kellogg.  The Cougars are third in the Western Conference at 12-4 with Kellogg in the top spot at 16-0.   You can listen to all four games of the series live on the Slocum Sports Network with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. Friday from Battle Creek, then a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Saturday in Kalamazoo.

Lansing drops to 27-11 overall.   The Stars are 15-5 for second in the Eastern Conference and meet conference leader Jackson (16-4) for four this weekend.  Friday’s doubleheader is at 2 p.m. in Lansing, followed by Saturday’s games in Jackson starting at 1 p.m.

Listen back to Tuesday’s games below:

GAME ONE

GAME TWO

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo Valley Hosts Lansing in Baseball

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Listen live Tuesday afternoon on the Slocum Sports Network starting at 2 p.m. with the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Cougars hosting the Lansing Community College Stars in a baseball doubleheader.  The MCCAA Western vs Eastern Conference showdown could serve as a momentum builder as both squads vie for the top spots of their conference.

The Cougars are 15-14 overall and 12-4 in the MCCAA West, third behind Kellogg (16-0) and Grand Rapids (13-3), with a three game lead on Muskegon (11-9).    With Kellogg looming in four games this weekend (each to be broadcast on the Slocum Sports Network) the Cougars need to be on top form to keep their league title hopes alive and to stay within the top three to advance to the Region XII tournament next month.

Lansing is 27-9 overall and 15-5 in the MCCAA East, only a game behind Jackson (16-4) for the top spot.   Similar to the Cougars, the Stars have four-games ahead for the weekend with Jackson, which could put them in first, or allow Delta, Mott, and/or Macomb to make-up their four-game deficits in the standings.

Tuesday’s games are the first of the season between the Cougars and Stars, with a second double-header set for next Tuesday, May 2, in Lansing.  They faced off three times last May, most recently in the Region XII tournament with the Cougars eliminating the Stars 14-9.   Kalamazoo Valley hosted and won the regular season games 11-2 and 5-0.    Two seasons ago, Lansing hosted and won both games of a double-header (7-5, 8-4).

Listen live to both games Tuesday on the Slocum Sports Network with the action set to begin at 2 p.m.

RECAP: Nielsen’s No-Hitter Highlights Plainwell Sweep of Allegan

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The Plainwell Trojans earned two shutout road victories Friday over the Allegan Tigers, winning 13-0 in six innings and 10-0 in seven.  The star of the afternoon was Trojan senior Hunter Nielsen, who threw a no-hitter in the first contest and hit two home runs in the second.

The future Kellogg Community College Bruin walked his first batter with only an error and another walk leading to Allegan baserunners the rest of game one.  Nielsen finished with 11 strikeouts against 20 batters faced.  The game remained tight through four innings with the only score coming in the third on an RBI double by Nielsen, scoring Isaac Davis.   The bats came alive with five runs on four hits and three errors in the fifth, followed by seven runs on seven hits in the sixth.  Notable performances came from Cole VanGoeye (three hits, two RBI), Davis (two hits, two runs, one RBI) and TJ Opel (three hits, one run, one RBI).

In the second game, Plainwell plated solo runs in the second, third, fifth, and seventh innings.   The runs in the fifth and seventh came from solo bombs by Nielsen, capping off a career day.    The big Trojan inning was a six-run sixth.  Ryan Topp ended with three hits, two RBI, and one run.  Quietly, Evan Salinas also pitched a complete game shutout, giving up only three hits and two walks with six strikeouts over seven innings.

Allegan falls to 2-9 overall and 0-4 in Wolverine Conference play and return to action Saturday morning at 10 against Battle Creek Lakeview.  Plainwell moves to 5-3 and 4-0 in league play with a conference showdown at home Tuesday against nearby rival Otsego.

Listen back to both of Friday’s games below:

GAME ONE

GAME TWO