The Gull Lake baseball team secured its second straight Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East Division title on Tuesday, sweeping visiting Lakeview to earn an outright championship.
Meanwhile, the Harper Creek softball team secured its second SMAC East title in three seasons thanks to a sweep of host Battle Creek Central on Tuesday.
In baseball, the Division 2 seventh-ranked Blue Devils defeated the Spartans by scores of 10-4 and 4-1. In Game 1 for Gull Lake, Caleb McPherson got the win with two strikeouts over six innings. McPherson helped his cause with a home run, Drew Blakely also hit a home run and Pat Gaudard had three hits including a double and a triple. For Lakeview, Jake Bivens had two hits with a double, while Nick Jones and Jake Herbers had two hits apiece. In Game 2 for Gull Lake, Aaron Fadden earned the win with two strikeouts over six innings. Herbers took the loss for the Spartans despite allowing only one earned run on four hits with two strikeouts over five innings. Offensively for the Spartans (16-8, 9-4-1 SMAC East), Tyler Wright and Brennan Kerr had two hits apiece.
In softball, Harper Creek clinched its SMAC East title with two 22-1 and 22-3 three-inning victories at cross-town opponent B.C. Central on Tuesday.
It’s been a dominant year for the Beavers (30-2, 13-1 SMAC East), who have already surpassed last year’s school record-setting win total of 27 games, and they still have four non-conference regular season games to go before district play begins.
“Coming into the season we knew there would be a couple other teams that would have some good talent so we knew we would have to work hard for it, but we also knew we had nine of our regular players coming back from last year so we set the league championship as one of our goals,” Harper Creek head coach Ryan Renner said. “We were kind of pressing hard for it, but we can take a bit of breath now.”
Harper Creek’s Bri Burritt and Haleigh Pickett picked up wins on the mound Tuesday. In the Game 1 win, the Beavers’ Christa Moody had three hits and three RBIs; Burritt had three hits with two doubles and three RBIs; Paige Shellenberger had two hits with a double, a triple and three RBIs; Kelsey Stedman had two hits with a double and four RBIs and Sadie Weller had two hits. In Game 2 for Harper Creek, Haley Burritt had two hits with a triple and three RBIs and Taylor Shellenberger and Breanna Ganton each had two hits with a double and two RBIs.
Otsego 5-0 (at) Pennfield 1-10: In the Game 1 loss, Pennfield’s Sam Duckham went 3-for-3 with an RBI. In Game 2, the Panthers’ Caleb Frein threw a six-inning complete game shutout, striking out seven and giving up just three hits. Duckham had two hits and scored four runs and Alex Reed had three hits with three RBIs in the win for Pennfield (16-12).
Harper Creek 18-15 (at) B.C. Central 1-4: Joey Stasa was Harper Creek’s winning pitcher in Game 1, striking out nine batters. The Beavers’ Jack Thompson had two hits and four RBIs and Joey Ramos had two hits and three RBIs in the win. In Game 2, Mickey Barea got the win on the mound for Harper Creek (16-9-1, 8-5-1 SMAC East). Bailey Weessies, Ramos and Nate Hicks had two hits apiece in the Beavers’ win.
Homer 14-17, (at) Quincy 3-2: Homer claimed a share of the Big Eight Conference title, its first since 2008. In Game 1 for the Trojans, Dylan Thomas threw five innings with seven strikeouts. Alex White had two hits including a double, Preston Sherman had two hits with a triple and two RBIs, Nate Sitkiewicz had two hits with a double and a homer and three RBIs, Chaz Hopkins had two doubles and an RBI and Kevin Butters had two hits and two RBIs. Quincy’s Jimmy Strock hit a two-run double. In Game 2 for Homer (27-4, 12-2 Big Eight) Kevin Butters threw all four innings allowing four hits. Sitkiewicz had three hits including a grand slam and seven RBIs, Alex White had two singles and an RBI, Hopkins had two hits including a home run and three RBIs, and Tyler Ridgeway had two hits and an RBI. For Quincy (13-10, 8-6 Big Eight) Bryce McCavit had a two-run single and Mike Tesch had a double.
Union City 11-11, (at) Reading 3-1: Union City claimed a share of the Big Eight Conference title, its first since 2001. The Chargers were led by Brady Johnson with 15 strikeouts in the Game 1 victory. At the plate, Wyatt Mead, Cody Cable, Darren Austin and Hunter Johns had two hits and two RBIs apiece. In the five-inning Game 2 for Union City (22-6, 12-2 Big Eight), Emmett Fraley picked up the win with 10 strikeouts. Brady Johnson had a triple, single and two runs scored, Mead had two hits and two RBIs, Austin had a hit and two RBIs and Fraley helped his cause with two hits including a double and three RBIs.
Maple Valley 8-6 (at) Bath 0-5: Maple Valley got two tough victories against Division 3 No. 4-ranked Bath. In Game 1, Beau Johnson got the complete-game victory on the mound for Maple Valley, striking out nine along the way. In the Lions’ win Tyler Hickey had three hits with two RBIs, Austin Gonser had two hits with a double and two RBIs, Kyle Brumm had two hits with a double and Garrett Miller had a hit and two RBIs. Andrew Brighton picked up the Game 2 win on the mound and Brumm threw a perfect seventh inning to earn the save. In the win, Gosner had two hits, two runs and an RBI and Miller and Johnson each had two hits for Maple Valley (17-7).
(At) Olivet 14-3, Delton Kellogg 1-4: In Game 1, Brett Whitely got the win for Olivet with seven strikeouts in the five-inning contest. At the plate for the Eagles, Robbie Funk was 3-for-3 with a double, Shane Loney was 2-for-3 with a double and Mike Spotts was 2-for-2 with a double. In Game 2, Delton Kellogg’s Zach Meyers got the win in relief with three strikeouts. Offensively for the Panthers (7-13, 7-9 KVA), Jacob Morgan went 2-for-3, Meyers had three hits with an RBI double, Zach Young had a home run and Josh McCarty hit the walk-off RBI double. For Olivet (11-15, 7-11 KVA), Spotts was 2-for-4 and Tyler Andrews was 2-for-4 with a double.
(At) Marshall 6-13, Loy Norrix 0-3: Dan Welke pitched six innings of shutout ball to pick up the Game 1 win for Marshall. Collin Neal had two hits with two doubles and two RBIs and Mitch Konkle had two hits for the Redhawks. Neal picked up the Game 2 five-inning win on the mound giving up no earned runs while striking out four. Welke had an RBI double and Ben Walton and Alex Walton each had a hit and two RBIs for Marshall (16-11, 7-7 SMAC East).
21-6, (at) Bronson 17-9: In the Game 1 loss, ‘Bronson’s Chase Carpenter hit a homer and had two triples and seven RBIs. Also for Bronson, Blake Fox had three hits and three RBIs and Mark Robinson and Kahle Scheenks had two hits apiece. The Vikings’ Daniel McMichael got the win on the mound in Game 2. Kegan Ayres went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Mason Friedel had two hits and two RBIs to lead the way offensively for Bronson (13-14-1, 5-6-1 SJV).
(At) Hastings 10-5, Pennfield 6-15: In Game 1, Pennfield’s Shelby Miller went 3-for-3, Hannah Lenz had two hits with a double and two RBIs and Amanda Sare had two hits with two RBIs. In Game 2, Megan DeHart got the win on the mound for Pennfield (10-19). The Panthers’ offense was paced by Holli Longstreth’s three hits and an RBI and Ashley Kallgren’s two hits with two RBIs.
(At) Gull Lake 6-4, Lakeview
4-0: Lakeview’s Kelsey Calloway had two hits and Paige Tobin had a double in the Game 1 loss.
(At) Marshall 13-3, Loy Norrix 3-7: Marshall’s Katie Jarvis had five strikeouts on the mound to pick up the five-inning Game 1 win. The Redhawks’ Emma McCarthy had three hits and an RBI, Jarvis had two hits with a double and an RBI and Megan Drumm had two hits with a double and three RBIs. In the Game 2 loss, Cassidy Crouch had a hit with two RBIs and Drumm and Courtney Sims singled for Marshall (8-17, 3-11 SMAC East).
4-6, (at) Sturgis
0-7: In Game 1, Coldwater’s Jessica Becks got the complete-game win with a career-high 15 strikeouts while allowing just one hit. At the plate for the Cardinals, Kendall Galloway and Payton Watson each doubled. In Game 2 for Coldwater (15-14, 10-4 SMAC East), Morgan Howard and Michaela Gillette each had two hits.
Homer 14-10, (at) Quincy 10-0: Homer’s Jaimie Dibble picked up the five-inning Game 1 win on the mound. Mallori Konkle had four hits, two stolen bases and an RBI and Kelsey Konkol had three hits with a triple to lead the Trojans’ offense. Also for Homer, Ashlyn Swafford had a triple and three RBIs, Molly Renfroe had a triple and two RBIs and BreAnna Bates and LilyMae Ratliff each had two hits. In the Game 2 five-inning win, Dibble picked up another win for Homer while Stephanie Osborn provided a good chunk of the offense with a double, a home run and three RBIs. The Trojans’ Mallory Ray added three hits with an RBI and Konkol, Konkle and Swafford had two hits apiece.
Athens 8-5 (at) Jonesville 7-11: Athens’ Leia Fuller, Ally Fuller and Morgyn Weeks each had two hits on the day.
Pennfield 19, (at) Okemos 4: The Panthers finished their season with an 11-5 record after losing this regional game in the state tournament. Pennfield’s Chris Acton led his team with two goals. Ethan Everett and Nick Schwarz also scored for the Panthers and Colin Prideaux had 12 saves in goal.