Reed City pitchers play in Old TImers' game

BIG RAPIDS — Two Reed City pitchers got a taste of Old Timers baseball during the Fourth of July holiday.

The Mecosta County Old Timers fell for the second straight season on July 3, 15-8, to the high school baseball team made up of players from Big Rapids and Morley Stanwood, at Hemlock Park.

The high school team struggled for a few innings before being able to score off the Old Timers’ courtesy pitchers, Sidni Rushford and Amanda Steig. Rushford will be a senior at Reed City next season and Steig is a current Coyote assistant coach and former Reed City and college player.

Joe Bechaz of Big Rapids and Gordy Allers Sr. of Reed City were among the event organizers.

Tyler Dard of Morley Stanwood and Jackson Lund were named the high school team’s Most Valuable Players.

Rushford got off to a solid start in the opening inning, striking out two Big Rapids all-state players in Lund and Elliott Blair.

“It was very cool, I know a lot of those players,” Rushford said. “It was nice. I tried to hit my spots and use my off-speed where I knew they couldn’t hit it.”

Steig, a left-hander, had not pitched in an actual game in three years.

“I pitched good enough,” Steig said. “I had fun. That’s what matters.”

Big Rapids coach Sam Daugherty skippered the high school team.

“It was a blast,” he said. “I can’t tell you how much fun it is and how much they look forward to it. It’s a great game for the community and to see the youth interact with the Old Timers, it’s just amazing. I’m shocked we won.”

Daugherty pointed out it took awhile for his players to adjust to a fast-pitch softball hurler.

“In baseball, the ball is always on a downward slide,” Daugherty said. “In fast-pitch everything is on an upward swing. They have to make the adjustment quickly.”