Bucks fall in State quarterfinal game
EAST LANSING — Calvin Christian's three-run first inning was too much for Pine River to overcome in a 9-4 victory for the Squires over the Bucks Tuesday in a Division 3 quarterfinal baseball game at Michigan State University.
Calvin Christian plays in Battle Creek in Friday's semifinal round. The season ends for Pine River at 24-6.
Pine River starter Lincoln Erickson left the first inning after getting just one out.
Catcher Devin Ruppert tried to throw a runner out at third base but the throw was wild and scored the first run. Danny Carrasco's RBI single and Jamie Bristol's two-run double gave the Squires a 3-0 lead and Erickson gave way to Skyler Nelson who went through the third inning.
Erickson pitched more than nine innings on Saturday at the regionals.
“Lincoln didn't have it and with him, I knew it was a possibility,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. “He hasn't been able to recover real quick all year. But he wanted to go and I was going to let him.”
Devin Ruppert pitched the next 2 1/3 innings and then the Bucks brought in Mitch McDonald.
Three straight hits loaded the bases for Calvin Christian in the third and the fourth run scored on an error. Another run scored on a wild pitch for a 5-0 lead.
The Bucks got a run back in the third when Garrett Traynor scored on a wild pitch. Cole Boender had a RBI single in the top of the fifth for the Squires.
The Bucks didn 't get a hit the first four innings but had two infield singles in the bottom of the fifth and scored two runs to make it 6-3. Luke Harris had a two-run single in the inning.
McDonald also beat out a hit for the Bucks in that inning. But the Bucks left the bases full to end the inning behind 6-3.
“We struck out there with the bases loaded,” Ruppert said. “Their pitcher had Lincoln's number. We had runners in scoring position but didn't get them.”
CC added three insurance runs in the seventh on a wild pitch, pop fly single by Cole Boender and sacrifice fly by Nate VanRyn.
Josh DeYoung went the distance for Calvin Christian and took the win allowing four hits and striking out nine.
“On two days rest, it's probably not his sharpest stuff,” said Calvin Christian coach Andrew Bishop. “He wanted the ball. He wanted to be out there.”
“When we got close to scoring he made some really nice pitches,” Ruppert said. “That slider he throws the outside part of the plate, he disguises it well. It looks like a fastball. But if we got a hit and tied it up that would have been a different game. I liked the way we battled. We had runners almost every inning, but we couldn't get that big hit.”
The Bucks had four hits compared to 10 for CC.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Nelson and McDonald got two solid basehits, for the first hits out of the infield the whole game for the Bucks.
Trailing 9-3, Pine River loaded the bases with one out. One run scored on Erickson's bounceout.
“I was a little disappointed with our defense,” Ruppert said. “We got a little sloppy. We didn't concentrate very well.”