Division 2 Team Of The Week: Week 7 - Grand Rapids Christian

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

Follow on Twitter- @PrepBaseballM
Follow on Instagram- @pbrmichigan

Interested in attending a PBR Michigan event? Check out our schedule by clicking here.

To view all things Spring HS related, click here.

Division 2 Team Of The Week: Week 7 - Grand Rapids Christian

GRAND RAPIDS - Grand Rapids Christian followed up a Coldwater Tournament championship with four wins this past week. It has the sixth-rated team in the Power 25 ratings 25-4 on the season and recipients of the honor of being selected the Prep Baseball Report Division 2 Team of the Week.

“We’re clicking at the right time,” pointed out head coach Brent Gates. “We have a nice lineup and can score in multiple ways. We can run the bases, we have power and defensively we can field the ball, but pitching is our strength.”

Success was expected after the Eagles returned six of the top seven hitters in last year’s batting order from a team that was defeated 3-0 by Forest Hills Eastern in the D-2 state championship game.

“It was tough losing that last game, but we had a lot of core players that were juniors,” Gates reflected. “I wanted them to soak in that scene, watching the dogpile and celebration. That can fuel you, and it has us. These guys have been in the weight room three days a week since the start of school. They can’t get enough.

“We have a good senior class that was not happy with how last year ended. We remind them every day that teams will be coming after us. Just embrace it.”

After losing to Forest Hills Central 7-6, Grand Rapids Christian avenged the loss with 14-6 and 4-2 wins over FHC before beating West Catholic 4-1 and Rockford 14-4 on Saturday.

“We have a lot of depth pitching,” noted Gates. “We can match up lefty and righty. I don’t feel we have to ride that one guy.”

Kyle Remington and Ty Uchman are both 5-0 on the season while Cam Seth is 4-2, Cannon Paul 3-0 and Zeke Heerema 2-0. Remington, a Minnesota commit, has 28 Ks in 28 innings with a 2.40 ERA while Uchman, the sixth-rated senior left-handed pitcher in the state who has signed with George Mason, has fanned 41 in 28 frames with a 1.70 ERA. 

Seth, an uncommitted senior right-hander, has thrown a team-high 34 innings, striking out 41 and walking seven with a 2.03 ERA. Paul, a junior relief pitcher, has 30 Ks and seven walks in 21 frames with a 2.60 ERA while Heerema, a junior southpaw, has a 1.60 ERA, fanning 31 in 26 innings.

“I feel really good with those five guys against anyone,” Gates said. “Kyle is dynamic, he’s obviously the guy everyone knows. He’s been up to 93. We use him in different roles.”

A shortstop when not on the mound, Remington, the leadoff hitter, is batting .437 with a .566 on-base percentage. The eighth-ranked senior in Michigan has scored 48 runs with seven doubles, three triples and a home run while a perfect 24-24 on stolen bases.

Uchman, a first baseman/pitcher, is hitting .495 with a .577 OBP in the two-hole with five doubles, seven triples, five home runs, 42 RBIs, 38 runs and 13 steals. Seth, a third baseman/pitcher, carries a .389 average and .573 OBP with 32 runs scored and 19 stolen bases.

Three-hole batter Jackson Isaacs, the right fielder committed to Western Michigan who is ranked fifth in the state among 2024 outfielders, is batting .375 with a .486 OBP, six doubles, three homers, 33 RBIs, 32 runs and 21 stolen bases. Center fielder Josh Winkle, a senior, is at .337 with four doubles, four triples, 25 RBIs and 11 steals while junior 3B/2B/pitcher Paul has a .333 average with two home runs, five doubles and 19 RBIs despite missing eight games with an injury.

“We have a bunch of athletes,” noted Gates, whose team has a .330 batting average, .449 OBP and has 118 stolen bases in 122 attempts. “We work every day on base running. That’s a big part of our program. It’s the first thing we do at practice. We want to put pressure on and create havoc on the other side of the ball.”

Three games with Byron Center and a Friday matchup with Caledonia are on tap this week before a pre-district game with East Grand Rapids next Tuesday for the top-rated D-2 team in the state.

“The key is playing good baseball at the right time of the year,” explained Gates. “We’re notorious for finding the pieces and what works best. I like how we’re playing, but we don’t take anyone for granted. Hopefully, the experience from the previous couple of years and the experience from last year will pay off come the tournament.”