2017-06-22 / Sports

Rudyard Bulldogs Reach Baseball Quarterfinals; Fall to Gaylord St. Mary’s


The Rudyard Bulldogs claimed the regional championship on their home field Saturday, June 10, defeating Wakefield-Marenisco 5-4 in game one and Inland Lakes 5-2 in the championship game. They advanced to play in the quarterfinals Tuesday, June 13, against Gaylord St. Mary’s in Gaylord, where they lost 8-3. The team is pictured here with their regional championship trophy. Team members include (back, from left): JV Coach Billy Mitchell, Dylan Mills, Tanner Norton, Trent MacDowell, Brody LeBlanc, Joey Fox, Cole Besteman, Dakota MacDowell, Gavin Smith, Noah McLeod, Jakob Steikar, Assistant Coach Jim Myers, Assistant Coach John Rosebrock, Assistant Coach Pat VanSloten; (front) Assistant Coach Todd Menard, Spencer Piippo, Tyler Spencer, Jace Jenerou, Cody Coffey, Matt Warner, Robert Malaski, James Burton, Manager Bradley Hall, and Head Coach Jim Smith. (Photograph provided by Rudyard baseball team) The Rudyard Bulldogs claimed the regional championship on their home field Saturday, June 10, defeating Wakefield-Marenisco 5-4 in game one and Inland Lakes 5-2 in the championship game. They advanced to play in the quarterfinals Tuesday, June 13, against Gaylord St. Mary’s in Gaylord, where they lost 8-3. The team is pictured here with their regional championship trophy. Team members include (back, from left): JV Coach Billy Mitchell, Dylan Mills, Tanner Norton, Trent MacDowell, Brody LeBlanc, Joey Fox, Cole Besteman, Dakota MacDowell, Gavin Smith, Noah McLeod, Jakob Steikar, Assistant Coach Jim Myers, Assistant Coach John Rosebrock, Assistant Coach Pat VanSloten; (front) Assistant Coach Todd Menard, Spencer Piippo, Tyler Spencer, Jace Jenerou, Cody Coffey, Matt Warner, Robert Malaski, James Burton, Manager Bradley Hall, and Head Coach Jim Smith. (Photograph provided by Rudyard baseball team) Rudyard came into its quarterfinal game against the Snowbirds of Gaylord St. Mary’s Tuesday, June 13, with a lot of confidence. They’ve played well throughout the postseason, and they played St. Mary’s earlier in the season, splitting a doubleheader. They felt they knew what to expect and were ready to compete. In their previous matchup, Rudyard only allowed three runs and seven hits combined in the two games. In this game, however, the Snowbirds exploded for six runs and five hits in the first inning alone, en route to an 8-3 victory over the Bulldogs.

The first six St. Mary’s batters reached base via a double, an error, and four consecutive singles. With the bases loaded and nobody out, the Snowbirds drove in four runs with two singles. After a pitching change, and with the bases again loaded, a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch brought home two more runs, giving them a 6-0 lead before Rudyard had a chance to bat.

The Bulldogs responded, showing the same grit and determination they have shown all season long, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning. Dylan Mills led off the inning with a single, followed by a walk from Cody Coffey and an RBI double by Jace Jenerou. Jakob Steikar hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Coffey, and James Burton doubled home Jenerou, cutting the lead to 6-3.

St. Mary’s threatened to score with runners on first and third in the second inning, but the Bulldogs were able to strand the runners and keep them from scoring. In the top of the third, however, St. Mary’s added two more runs, scoring on two consecutive, twoout RBI singles. They were the last runs either team would score.

Rudyard was held without a hit in the third, fourth, and fifth innings. In the bottom of the sixth the Bulldogs got runners on first and third with singles by Jenerou and Trent MacDowell. With two outs, Rudyard’s Burton grounded into a fielder’s choice, ending the Bulldogs threat. Noah McLeod singled in the seventh, but was stranded on first base.

Rudyard ends the season with a 22-12 record and wins in the district and regional championships. The Bulldogs lose two seniors, but will return most of its starting line up and a group of talented underclassman who will make the transition from junior varsity to varsity. They hope to make an even deeper postseason run next season.

Return to top


Click here for digital edition
2017-06-22 digital edition