Prep Baseball Report

Rockford Advances Behind Shower and Kelley- Complete Coverage Inside

By Bobby Walmsley 
Regional Scout

Regional Semifinal:  Rockford 6, Forest Hills Central 1

In game one of the Division 1 Regional at Hudsonville High School, the Rockford Rams took on the Forest Hills Central Rangers.  Forest Hills put the pressure on Rockford starter Reid Kelley in the top of the first, but their lone run was scored on a bases loaded hit by pitch. 

Rockford’s Matt Dileo answered in the bottom of the first with a three-run double over the left fielder’s head.  In the third inning, Dileo delivered again with a solo homerun to left field. Rockford scored two more runs in the third to chase Forest Hills Central starting pitcher Oliver Jaskie from the game with a 6-1 lead. 

After a tense first inning, Rockford starting pitcher Reid Kelley settled in and shut down the Ranger offense for the rest of the day, going the distance for a complete game victory. 

Dileo paced Rockford’s offensive attack, with three hits, including a homerun, double, and four RBIs.  Steven Powell and Tyler Pellerito each had a double in the game. 


Regional Semifinal:  Hudsonville 6, Muskegon Mona Shores 2

In game two of this regional action, the Hudsonville Eagles beat the Mona Shores Sailors 6-2, in a game that was much closer than the score indicated.   Pitching was the story of this game for the first five innings, as Hudsonville’s Keegan Baar and Mona Shores’ Kyle Lawson each controlled the opposing offensive attacks until Hudsonville was able to break it open with a four-run seventh inning. 

In the bottom half of the first, senior Adam Ulfsax hit a line drive single up the middle to give Mona Shores the early 1-0 lead.  The Eagles answered in the top of the third when senior Nate Boschma drilled an RBI single to score Logan Magsig and even the score at 1-1.  Boschma carried the positive momentum into the field in the bottom half of the third when he made a web gem with a diving stop to a groundball to second base, saving a run and keeping the score tied at 1-1. 

The score would stay tied until the top of the sixth, when Hudsonville junior Curt Doornboos singled through the right side to score the runner from second base on a very close play at the plate that drew an emotional reaction from the crowd. 

The drama continued into the bottom half of the sixth.  With Hudsonville leading 2-1, Mona Shores had runners on first and third with one out.  The next batter hit a bouncing ball to shortstop Jared Blum who flipped it to the second base for the force out.  As Hudsonville second baseman Nate Boschma turned to make the throw to first for the double play, the Mona Shores runner slid and made contact with Boschma, and he was unable to make the throw.  The home plate umpire called interference which resulted in the batter running to first also being called out.  This happened on a bouncing ball that would have been nearly impossible to turn a double play.  The controversial call happened at a pivotal point in a close game and caused a spirited debate from Mona Shores Head Coach Walt Gawkowski. 

The wheels fell off in the top half of the seventh inning, as Hudsonville rallied to score four unearned runs on several miscues by the Ranger defense.  With two outs, Hudsonville senior Robert Greenman hit a fly ball to deep right field that the tipped off the fielder’s glove, scoring Nate Boschma and giving the Eagles a 3-1 advantage.  The next batter, sophomore Mason Opple roped a line drive single to left field to score Greenman.  An error by the Ranger first baseman on a sharply hit ball scored two more runs in the inning, expanding Hudsonville’s lead to 6-1.

Kyle Lawson delivered an RBI double to right center in the bottom half of the seventh, but Logan Magsig closed the door and picked up a two-inning save in the Eagles 6-2 victory.

Keegan Baar was impressive in earning the win for Hudsonville, going five innings, surrendering just one run on four hits, with eight strikeouts.  Logan Magsig, Nate Boschma, and Dakota Prince each had two hits for Hudsonville. 

Despite a strong pitching performance, Kyle Lawson suffered the loss for Mona Shores.  Lawson also paced Ranger offense going 2-for-2, with a double, RBI, and two walks. 


Regional Championship:  Rockford 7, Hudsonville 0 

Familiar conference foes Rockford and Hudsonville squared off in the Regional Championship.  These two schools also own the last two Division 1 State Championships, with Rockford winning in 2011, and Hudsonville winning it all last year.  

Rockford sophomore Cory Stankus struck the first blow in the game in the top of the second, delivering an RBI single up the middle to score senior Tim Redder.  With starting pitchers Brent Showers (Rockford) and Mason Opple (Hudsonville) controlling the offenses for the next few innings, the score remained unchanged. 

Rockford would break it open in the fifth.  Junior Kory Young got the Ram offense started with a bunt single down the third base line and advanced to second on a wild throw to first.  Sophomore Tyler Pellerito then laced an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Young, and giving Rockford a 2-0 advantage.  Rockford kept their foot on the gas, as Steven Powell, Tim Redder, Cory Stankus, and Steven Bilski delivered four consecutive RBI singles to extend the Ram’s lead to 6-0.

Rockford scored the final run of the game in the sixth for a final score of 7-0.  

Rockford starting pitcher Brent Showers was dominant in the game, completely disarming Hudsonville’s high-powered offense.  In the complete game shutout of the defending state champions, Showers was masterful in mixing fastballs and off-speed pitches, and consistently threw his breaking ball for a strike en route to striking out nine and surrendering only five hits. 

Tim Redder, Cory Stankus, and Kory Young each had two hits for Rockford.  Steven Powell, Tyler Pellerito, and Steven Bilski each contributed a hit in the game.  Brent Showers reached base safely in every at bat, going 1-for-1, with two walks and a HBP.

Logan Magsig led Hudsonville, going 2-for-4 with a double.  Nate Boschma, Robert Greenman, and Mason Opple had hits for the Eagles.

Rockford moves on to the quarterfinals to face Bay City Western at 1pm on Tuesday at Central Michigan University.