PBR Michigan Spotlight Game: Traverse City West vs Traverse City Central

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 By Andy Pascoe
Michigan Scouting Director

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PBR Michigan Spotlight Game: Traverse City West vs Traverse City Central

Traverse City - Tuesday’s crosstown rivalry doubleheader between Traverse City West and Traverse City Central was dominated by pitching and defense, highlighted by two 2016 commits and a walk-off victory in the opener, helping propel West to a sweep of Central by scores of 2-1 and 2-0.

Game 1

Game 1 pitted 2016 Saginaw Valley State commit Keegan Kenny of TC West against 2016 Lawrence Tech commit Matt Baker of TC Central.

Kenny cruised through the first three innings allowing just one baserunner on a single by his counterpart, Baker, and striking out four.

Baker also threw well through the first three innings yielding a single, a walk, and striking out three.

Central tallied first in the fourth inning as 2017 OF Jordan Ruckle led off the inning with a single and 2016 OF Kellogg CC commit Logan Briggs followed this up with a hard shot to the shortstop that was misplayed.

After a sacrifice bunt, Baker helped his own cause by driving in Ruckle with an RBI groundout. 2018 INF Sam Briggs followed this up with a walk before getting picked off by a third-to-first move by Kenny.

Baker ran into trouble after walking Kenny to lead off the home half of the fourth inning and then hitting 2016 C Alex Strickland, a Saginaw Valley State commit, to put runners on first and second with no outs.

A well-timed trick pick-off play by Baker and his middle infielders got Kenny at second base for the first out. Baker then proceeded to walk the next two hitters to load the bases.

Baker was replaced by 2016 RHP Cam Fewless, who escaped this jam with a strikeout looking and a fly out.

Central loaded the bases in the fifth inning with a single and two walks but could not scratch any runs across.

In the bottom half, West was also able to load the bases with three straight walks after Fewless got two quick outs, but ended the inning with another fly out.

After a quick sixth inning for both teams and a quick top half of the seventh inning for Central as Kenny went the distance, West was able to get the lead-off hitter on with a walk in the bottom of the seventh followed by an error on a sac bunt that put runners on first and second.

2016 OF Nick Brzezinski, an Aquinas College commit, laid down a perfect bunt for a hit down the third baseline to load the bases. Fewless was able to get Kenny and Stricklin to ground into consecutive fielder’s choices to get the runner at the plate both times.

Then when West was down to it’s final strike, Fewless hit 2016 C/3B Jake Newhouse, another Aquinas commit, with a curveball.

Then after falling behind 2-0, Fewless hit the next batter with a curveball that brought in the winning run.

Player of the Game: Keegan Kenny  (TC West) - 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 7 K, 3 BB

Game 2

Game 2 started much like Game 1 did as 2016 RHP Dawson Rabb (TC Central/Mott CC) and 2016 RHP Brett Hines (TC West/ Kalamazoo College) squared off.

After two quick outs, the elder Briggs singled, stole two bases, then was stranded at third after a walk and a caught stealing.

After two scoreless innings by both Hines and Rabb, Hines entered the third inning and got the lead-off hitter out.

He was then pulled after walking the next hitter and 2018 RHP Mike Laracey came in from the bullpen.

Laracey walked the first batter he faced then was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Logan Briggs. After being down for a bit, Laracey was able to come off the field under his own power and replaced by 2018 RHP/3B Ryan Hayes, who stranded the bases loaded.

West was able to score their two runs of the ball game in the home half of the third inning.

After a lead-off hit by pitch and a strikeout looking, West had back-to-back singles by 2017 OF Gavin Garmhausen and Brzezinski, the latter bringing in a run. Kenny was able to plate the second run with a sacrifice fly to right.

West was able to hold Central scoreless for the remainder of the darkness shortened ball game to keep the Pat Murchie Trophy at West for the fourth consecutive year.

Player of the Game: Logan Briggs (TC Central) - 2-for-3, 3 SB