The Flying G’s scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh and another in the eighth to get by Big Rapids, 5-4, and reach the district finals against Ludington last Saturday.
Gladwin jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Lucas Mead led off with a single. He got to third on an error by the Big Rapids pitcher and scored on a single by Hunter Williams. Ethan Shea then moved Williams to second with a sacrifice bunt and he scored on a single by Lincoln McKinnon.
Big Rapids tied the score in the second and took a 4-2 lead with two more runs in the fourth. From there neither team scored until the Flying G’s came up in the bottom of the seventh trailing by two.
Two straight errors by the Big Rapids infield put Tyler Yott Goodwin and Mead on second and first with no outs. A sacrifice bunt by Williams moved Yott to third, and Mead to second. After a strikeout the G’s were down to their final out with McKinnon coming to the plate. He walked loading the bases for Connor Dee who singled driving in Goodwin and Mead to tie the score before a groundout got the Cardinals out of the inning.
Maurice Camphor singled to lead off the eighth inning for Big Rapids and was moved to second by a sacrifice bunt. Gladwin pitcher Ian Graves got the next two batters on a lineout and groundout to give the Flying G’s another chance to win the game.
Randy Przyewski walked to lead off the Gladwin half of the eighth. Richard Woodford sacrificed him to second. The next batter, Goodwin walked bringing Gladwin’s top hitter Mead to the plate. Mead holds the Gladwin single season record for hits and has the top average on the team at .477. Keaton Ballard, the Big Rapids pitcher, got ahead in the count, 0-2 before Mead singled driving in Przyewski from second and giving Gladwin the 5-4 win and sending them on to the district finals against Ludington.
The Flying G’s exploded for 13 runs in the afternoon to beat Ludington 13-1. Gladwin scored single runs in the first and second inning to hold a 2-1 lead going into the top of the fourth. At that point they broke the game open with four runs. Graves led off the inning and reached base on an infield error. Goodwin and Mead followed with singles to load the bases. Back-to-back infield flies almost got the Orioles out of the inning, but a double by McKinnon drove in all three Gladwin base runners. Dee followed with a single driving in McKinnon and putting Gladwin up 6-1.
Two more runs in the sixth and five in the seventh made the final score 13-1.Shea and Mead had three hits each; McKinnon, Dee, and Aaron Kozlow had two a piece. Shea had four RBIs; McKinnon three while Kozlow and Przyewski each knocked in two. Williams went the distance on the mound allowing three hits and striking out five. The lone Ludington run was unearned.
With the win Gladwin moves on to the first round of regional play tonight at Chippewa Hills High School in Remus against Bay City John Glen. The Bobcats play in the tough Tri-Valley Conference. They finished the regular season 29-7 and ranked number 8 in the final Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association poll.