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Raiders struggle, get swept by Kellogg Bruins

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Assistant Coach Mike Cupples huddles the Raiders on the mound - Austin Chastain

By Connor MacLachlan

Grand Rapids Community College’s baseball team dropped a pair of games against the Kellogg Community College Bruins in a double-header at Belknap Park on Saturday, losing the first game 6-2 and the second game 10-5.

KCC went up 1-0 early in the top of the first inning, and starting pitcher Mark Scannell retired the Raiders’ batters in order, setting the tone for the game rather quickly. GRCC was able to get two hits in the second inning, but left the runners stranded as the score held at 1-0 after two innings.

Scannell had the Raiders number in the first game, giving up only three hits in five and a third innings. After KCC had built on their lead to go up 3-0 in the fourth inning, GRCC starter Jacob Wosinski was done for the day. Freshman pitcher Garrett Cheslek replaced Wosinski at the start of the fifth inning, where the Bruins added two more runs, going up 5-0.

The core of the Raiders’ problems were errors made in the field. The defense compiled three errors in that fifth inning, and finished the first game with six total. GRCC knocked in their only two runs of the game in the sixth inning on a bases loaded double by catcher Jim Wressel, which was his only hit of the game. Wressel finished the first game 1-for-3 with the two RBI’s as the Raiders fell 6-2.

KCC had another early start in the second game of the day as they took another 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. This time the Raiders hit right back in the bottom of the inning. Leadoff hitter Trevor Patterson started with a double to left-center, and was followed by a bunt single by freshman Sam Briggs. Briggs used his speed to reach first safely, but the first baseman dropped the ball when fielding the throw from the pitcher. Patterson, who had advanced to third on the bunt, saw this drop by the first baseman as an opportunity to reach home. Just like that, the score was tied at one.

It wasn’t until the fourth inning that the tie was broken. KCC scored three runs to go up 4-1, as freshman pitcher Noah Scyzoryk replaced Raiders’ starter Troy Hedges on the mound. GRCC stayed in the fight, as they added two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, making the score 4-3. Every time the Raiders would make an attempt at a comeback, KCC would retaliate with some insurance runs the following inning.

GRCC made it as close as a 6-5 game, down by only one run after six innings. However, after a monster inning by the KCC batters in the top of the seventh inning, the Raiders were facing a 10-5 deficit. This score would hold as the Raiders dropped their second game of the day.

The story of the day for GRCC’s losses was the amount of fielding errors made in both games. After the six errors in the first game of the double-header, they finished with five in game two. When asked if the fielding was the primary reason for the two losses, head coach Mike Eddington emphasized that an overall improvement was needed moving forward.

“It was a little bit of everything, we just made too many mental and physical errors that we can’t make if we want to win,” he said.

After dropping two games to the top team in the conference on Saturday, GRCC falls to 11-7 in conference play, and 16-19 overall. Their next scheduled home game is set for Saturday, April 27 when the Raiders will host the Glen Oaks Community College Vikings for a double-header starting at 1 p.m. at Belknap Park in Grand Rapids.