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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Runs remained at a premium, but it was the pitching that stole the show for the first-year Marygrove baseball team on Saturday (April 11) in Grand Rapids as the Mustangs took on the Cornerstone Golden Eagles for the final two games of a four-game set. Freshmen Ryne Underwood and Daniel Bailey both went the distance in their nine and seven inning games, respectively, to post improved outings for head coach Ryan Kottke and the Mustangs.
Despite the improved showings, the Mustangs dropped to 2-31 overall and 1-21 in WHAC play after losing game one, 7-1 and later dropping the nightcap, 6-2. The Golden Eagles improved to 16-23 overall and 7-13 in conference action with the wins over the Green and Gold.
GAME ONE â Cornerstone 7, @MGroveBASEBALL 1
Underwood (Louisville, Ky./Fern Creek High School) got off to a tough start over the first two innings as the Golden Eagles rushed out to a 7-1 lead after two frames. Only four of the seven runs were earned as Underwood and the Mustangs were forced to battle back from a difficult start to game three of the season series against the Golden Eagles.
In the top of the first, the Mustangs had an opportunity to post a big inning after the top of the order loaded the bases with nobody out. Drew Johnson (Trenton, Mich./Trenton High School) started the game off with a single to left field and David Chung (Warren, Mich./Bishop Foley High School) followed with a single down the right-field line to put runners on the corners for the Mustangs. James Edwards (Detroit, Mich./Shaw University) stepped to the plate and singled to center to score Johnson, giving the Mustangs an early 1-0 lead after the Green and Gold opened the game with three straight singles.
The Mustangs missed out on scoring more in the inning despite later loading the bases, settling for a narrow 1-0 lead after a half inning of action in game one.
After Cornerstone battled back to take a 7-1 lead after two, Underwood slammed the door on the Golden Eagles en route to posting six straight scoreless innings â a mark that is second only to the freshman’s six-and-two-thirds innings of scoreless ball against Concordia-Ann Arbor earlier this season.
Underwood finished Saturday’s opener with eight innings pitched, giving up four early earned runs while striking out two and only walking a pair of Golden Eagle batters.
Ben Sheckler moved to 4-2 on the season for Cornerstone after striking out 10 Mustangs in seven innings of work to earn the win.
Before the game was over, sophomore Chase Younkin (Macomb, Mich./Culver-Stockton College) returned to the lineup to pinch hit in the ninth and made the most of his opportunity by singling through the left side of the infield. Younkin had missed the Mustangs’ previous 14 games due to injury before returning late in Saturday’s opener.
GAME TWO â Cornerstone 6, @MGroveBASEBALL 2
Freshman Daniel Bailey (Harrison Twp., Mich./L’Anse Creuse High School) followed Underwood’s solid ending to game one by going six innings in game two for Kottke and the Mustangs. Bailey gave up six runs, all of them earned, showcasing vast improvement in the process with a final line of six innings of nine-hit, four-punchout baseball.
Bailey kept the Golden Eagles at bay early on as the Mustangs went into the fourth inning down one, 1-0, in a game where runs for the Green and Gold were once again at a premium. Bailey and the Mustangs would later go down by five (5-0) before finally getting a run in when the Golden Eagles misplayed a ball to allow freshman Jon Weatherspoon (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron High School) to score.
The Golden Eagles tacked one more on to lead 6-1, but the Mustangs rallied for one in the top of the seventh when Younkin collected his first RBI since returning from injury by sending a single up the middle to score Trey Blandford (Louisville, Ky./Fern Creek High School). The scoring would end there as the Golden Eagles shut down the Mustangs to end game two with a final score of 6-2.
Luke Heller was the winning pitcher for the Golden Eagles, going to the distance to improve to 2-3 on the season.
BASEBALL CONTACT: Tim Johnston |Â [emailÂ protected]/* */Â |Â @tjohnston56
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