Baseball squad opens season with two wins at AuGres
The GHS varsity baseball squad opened its 2017 season with two wins at AuGres on Monday night during a nonconference doubleheader.
In game one of the series, Grayling defeated AuGres 9-3.
Justin Nicholas was the winning pitcher, one of four to throw for the Vikings in the contest. Grayling had a combined no-hitter going into the last inning.
“Overall, really well played game by us,” Coach Bret Krabill said.
Christian Artress had two hits and two RBIs for the Vikings. Nicholas, Cam Summers, Louis Cotton, Trey Moffit, and Jaden Gauthier also had hits. Cotton, Nicholas, and Summers had RBIs.
Game two was called early due to darkness.
“We officially won 5-3. The score was 10-3 but the (last) inning didn’t count. Jacob Macfalda picked up the win, throwing all four innings. Nicholas led the team with two hits including a two-run homer. Justin Youngblood drove in two with a double. Moffit, Cotton, Jaden, Christian, and Macfalda all added base hits,” Coach Krabill said.
“Overall, I’m pretty happy with how we played. We pitched well. Our pitch counts were a little high but we were able to hit some spots later and at times look like we were more midseason form. The bats were a little slow to come around but we had some timely hitting, putting up runs in the first inning of both games. Defensively, we have some things we need to work on but overall looked solid,” Coach Krabill said.
On Wednesday, the Vikings posted a series split vs. Charlevoix, a league opponent. Grayling hosted the doubleheader.
The score of the first game was Grayling 2, Charlevoix 1.
Nicholas picked up the win, striking out nine and walking none. He scattered four hits.
Nicholas drove in one run. Artress, Moffit, Cotton, Youngblood, and Gauthier all had hits.
“We only struck out three times, so that was encouraging. Justin really stepped up today. He did what we needed on the mound and kept us calm and collected. That’s a great game when you look at how early it is,” Coach Krabill said.
In game two, the Rayders won 7-3.
“We spotted them some runs early on and never recovered. Trey pitched well in relief. We managed six hits, but Charlevoix was solid in the field and committed zero errors. Nicholas had two hits including a double. Summers, Artress, Gauthier, and Macfalda added hits as well. Jake finished with two RBI,” Coach Krabill said.
“Both teams were pretty evenly matched. Last year, we don’t win that first game. We are a year older and a year more prepared. We would have loved two wins there, but we can’t spot teams six runs,” Coach Krabill said.
On Thursday, the Vikings lost 3-0, 3-1 vs. the Gaylord Blue Devils during a nonconference series hosted by Grayling High School.
“Overall, I couldn’t be more proud of the boys. That team was in the final eight last year and that was the division above us. We saw some of their top pitching and did okay,” Coach Krabill said.
“Jake took the loss in game one and sophomore Nick Cicerone took the loss in game two. Both guys pitched lights out for us and kept pitch counts down. That is a darn good team we played and we played them well. We had a good barrel on the ball, but their outfield is rock solid. On a warmer day with a different team we had about a dozen base hits,” Coach Krabill said.
“Christian drove in the lone run for us. Youngblood looked sharp out there at short. You wouldn’t think he was a sophomore, but he is playing really well for any age. Cam Summers added a hit. Jake only gave up one earned run. Moffit, Summers, Nicholas, (Chris) Hunter, and Jake added hits in game two,” Coach Krabill said.
John Schneider, Gaylord’s current head coach and former baseball coach at Grayling, is still recovering from an accident that occurred several months ago; he was struck by a car while riding a bicycle.
“It was good to see John on the diamond. There was a chance he wasn’t going to be able to,” Coach Krabill said.
The Vikings (3-3 overall, 1-1 conference) will host the Roscommon Bucks at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 20.