By Dave Hart
Local Sports Journal
MUSKEGON – After battling to a come-from behind victory over rival Mona Shores Saturday, the Reeths-Puffer baseball team dropped a 3-2 decision to Kenowa Hills in a Division 1 district championship game on their home field.
The Rockets took an early 3-0 lead over Mona Shores in the semifinal game, then the Sailors scored five unanswered runs to take a 5-3 lead going into the top half of the seventh and final inning.
With the Rockets down to their final out with the bases loaded, Joe Champoux walked to cut the deficit to one run. Matt Hoover was then hit by a pitch to tie the game at five.
Jacob Boes then delivered a clutch walk-off, two-run single to advance the Rockets to the championship game.
The next game posed even a bigger challenge for the Rockets. They had faced Kenowa Hills three times this season and lost all three.
“Going into the game we knew we had to make the plays to win,” Shuppe said.
Kenowa Hills scored all of its runs in the first inning, on a wild pitch and a Jackson Jenette two-run single.
“We basically had one bad inning and it killed us, a couple of costly errors,” Schuppe said.
Reeths-Puffer pitcher Jacob Boes shut the door on the Knights the rest of the way. Boes pitched six innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out four and walking three.
“He battled for us (Boes) and he pitched really well.” said Schuppe. “I am proud of him and all of our kids.”
The Rockets, trailing 3-1 in the fifth inning, had the bases loaded and nobody out. But Kenowa Hills pitcher Bennett Norry wiggled himself out of a jam by just giving up one run.
The Rockets stranded the tying run on first base in each of the last two innings.
“We had our chances,” Shuppe said. “If we would have put the ball in play we would have won the game.”
Boes led the Rockets offensively with two hits and one RBI. Trevor Mosher had a hit and an RBI while Jake Balkema had a single and a double.
The Rockets finished the season with a 16-13 record and.
The Knights (24-7) got a solid pitching performance by Norry, who tossed five and two thirds innings, giving up two runs on nine hits while striking out six and walking three.
Kenowa Hills will move on to regional play next week.