Reed City baseball team falls to Big Rapids

BIG RAPIDS — Big Rapids baseball coach Sam Daugherty never counts his team out of any game.

The Cardinals fell behind 11-3 in the third inning against visiting Reed City on Friday, but they rallied to claim a 13-11 victory in Central State Activities Association Gold Division play.

“I think we have developed a fighter’s attitude and approach when we get behind,” Daugherty said. “I have to give them a lot of credit coming back. I’m most impressed with our positive attitude. We are getting more fundamentally sound each and every day.”

The Coyotes came back from a 4-1 deficit to take a 6-4 lead in the sixth inning of the nightcap, but the game was suspended because of darkness.

In Game 1, Big Rapids (10-8, 4-2 CSAA) pounded out 13 hits, led by Dakota Sanders with four, including two doubles and a RBI. Hunter Walch, who earned the win after taking over on the mound in the third inning, had three hits and two RBIs, while John Yonker had three hits, two runs scored and two RBIs. Drew Wotta and Keenan McIntyre each had two hits.

“Our hitting continues to be our strong point,” Daugherty said. “I think we took a little step back defensively, which is a mark of a young ball club. The issue for us is playing with the lead and taking advantage of outs, not giving away outs.”

Reed City (9-9, 2-3 CSAA) also had a big day at the plate, led by Cameron Austin with three hits and three RBIs. Leland Yonkin had two hits, including a double and two RBI, while Jeffrey Phenix, Gabe Miller, Derick Rasor and Hunter Morrison had two hits apiece.

“They hit the ball really well and found the gaps,” Reed City coach Marty Shaffer said of Big Rapids. “We played well, just told the guys that sometimes the other team finds the gaps.”

The Coyotes have two wins in the conference, but have three games suspended in which they are tied in two of them and leading in Friday’s game against the Cardinals.

“It could be a huge swing for us,” Shaffer said.

Reed City is home Friday against Chippewa Hills.