By Connor MacLachlan
The Grand Rapids Community College baseball team picked up two more conference wins on Saturday after winning both games of a double-header at Belknap Park, 4-1 and 5-0 against Muskegon Community College.
The Raiders hit the ground running in the first game, as Trevor Patterson led off the bottom of the first inning with a single to right-center field. Patterson was eventually able to reach home to score the first run, as Brady Paganelli hit an RBI ground-ball to third.
After the quick start, there was not much action from either side until the bottom of the fifth inning. GRCC third baseman Jared Bujdos led the inning off with a double to left-center field, and Jim Wressel followed it up with a single up the middle, scoring Bujdos and putting the Raiders up 2-0.
After adding two more runs in the same inning, GRCC was up comfortably 4-0. Though the bats were working when they needed them to, the pitching by the Raiders was what drove them throughout the day.
Sophomore Jacob Wosinski picked up the win in the first game after striking out 10 batters over seven innings. Wosinski only allowed three hits, and gave up his only earned run in the last inning. Trevor Patterson went 2-for-3 as the lead off hitter while Paganelli was 1-for-3 with two of the four runs batted in for the Raiders.
Game two had a very similar start to it, as freshman GRCC pitcher Troy Hedges struck out the side and gave up his only hit of the game in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the inning, the Raiders took another early 1-0 lead after Patterson’s second lead-off single of the day set the pace for the rest of the lineup.
The score remained 1-0 until the fourth inning when sophomore Alec Lockwood drove a two-run home run over the fence to put the Raiders up 3-0. Once they were up comfortably by three runs, Hedges’ dominant pitching performance would secure a shutout victory. GRCC added two more runs the following inning to reach their 5-0 lead that they would hold for the rest of the game.
Along with allowing only one hit throughout the entire seven innings that he pitched, Hedges struck out 12 of the Muskegon Community College batters. Calvin Syrjala and Patterson both had multi-hit games in game two, going 2-for-2 and 2-for-3 respectively. Syrjala also knocked in two runs.
Raiders’ head coach Mike Eddington was happy with his guys for taking it one game at a time, picking up two important conference victories over the Jayhawks. When asked if the conference games mean more to the team, Eddington emphasized their day-to-day approach throughout the season.
“We know how huge these games can be for us, but we’re really just focused on taking it one game at a time,” he said.
With the two wins on Saturday, the Raiders now sit a game above the Jayhawks in the standings, with a 10-4 conference record. Their next scheduled home game is set for Saturday, April 20 where they’ll host the Kellogg Community College Bruins for a double-header starting at 1 p.m. at Belknap Park in Grand Rapids.