07-18-2019 Tri-City Area Sports

COLOMA 10U SOFTBALL… The Coloma 10U girls All-Star softball team had a fantastic tournament season. They won the Hartford All-Star championship and came up just short with two runner-up finishes. Team members are (from the left): Front row – Karsyn Jacobs, Callie Crisenbery, Bethany Rose, Madison Marfia; Middle row – Lizzy Hardin, Aislin Henagan, Lila Groendyk, McKenzie Harris, Tatum Arend, Bristol Stewart; Back row – Coach Jacobs, Coach Crisenbery, Cambell Kirby, Jaidyn White, Coach Stewart, and Coach Champion.

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Coloma 10U boys’ baseball completes All-Star season in Allegan

The Coloma 10U boy’ baseball All-Star team had one last tournament this last weekend, July 13-14. This tournament was not typical of the format which these boys have been playing and competing at all year. This age group has been still hitting off of the pitching machine, which they have been since they finished with t-ball several years ago, as well as their All-Star action this season has been. However, the Allegan tournament would test their readiness for what will be coming their way next season as they begin to face live pitching.

The 10U team has had a really good All-Star run since the end of the regular season. They won the Berrien Springs tournament, and finished as runners-up in the Hartford and Lakeshore events.

This would be a new test for them, as there is always a certain comfort level in knowing that the pitching machine is geared to throw strikes, and you only need to worry about hitting the ball near the same location on each pitch. However with live pitching, if you know any baseball at all, once it leaves a pitcher’s hand the ball could go anywhere, including at the batter. So there is a little bit of a fear factor involved. No one likes getting hit by a baseball. But the most fun, for most players, is hitting the ball. Also, this would be the first time they had to have pitchers prepared to stand out on that mound and throw strikes, and get the other team out.

Head Coach Josh Groendyk did have his team well prepared for their new trial, as they came right out Saturday morning swinging the bats and scoring runs. Each pitcher in this first game threw very well for the most part, as they rolled to a 26-0 victory.

For their first foray into a new world of baseball, they competed very well on all fronts. The pitchers threw well and the batters hit the ball consistently up and down the order. They finished the weekend with two wins and two losses, and were the number one seed coming out of their bracket. They played for a chance to move to the championship game.

Even though they lost that game, and their final game, it was apparent that these young men will have no problem transitioning into the kind of baseball they will be playing starting next year. The one thing that doesn’t change is the defensive side of the ball. This team can make all the plays in getting outs and in keeping the other teams from scoring.

The highlight of the weekend came in the game Sunday morning against Wayland, when these young men made one of the rarest plays ever in baseball on any level, they turned a TRIPLE PLAY. The game was tied after the 4th inning 4-4, when the Coloma pitcher walked the bases loaded. But after scoring one run to take the lead, and the bases still loaded, this inning and the game could have gotten away from them. However this team is very knowledgeable and very well coached. The next batter hit a line drive which was caught by second baseman Dylan Groendyk for out number one. Dylan threw the ball home where the catcher Aiden Hampton caught and tagged the runner at the plate for out number two. Aiden then threw the ball which was misplayed a little but the right fielder Maysen Hess alertly backed it up and threw to second where short stop Jarrett McCoy tagged out the player trying to advance to complete the triple play. It was very exciting to watch, and really pumped up the fans, as the team sprinted off the field.