MUSKEGON – The Oakridge baseball team is the new champion of the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association Tier 2 City Tournament.The Eagles outmatched defending champion
Muskegon Catholic, which won three of the last four titles, by a 7-3 margin in the finals at Marsh Field to capture this year’s title.
The Eagles struggled early on, trailing 2-0 after allowing a run in both the first and second innings.
But Oakridge responded by scoring three runs in the bottom of the second to take a 3-2 lead that was never relinquished.
The Eagles added two more runs in the third and another in the fourth to increase their advantage to 6-2 heading into the fifth inning.
Muskegon Catholic cut its deficit to 6-3 in the fifth inning, scoring on a wild pitch, but failed to cross the plate again.
Oakridge relief pitcher Austin Fairchild came into the game in the third inning and shut down the Crusader bats. He allowed just one run on one hit in 4 1/3 innings while striking out five batters.
“He has a good little live arm,” said Barry about his sophomore pitcher. “He can play just about every position on the field.”
“I play in travel baseball so I am used to the pressure,” he said. “I just let them put the ball in play and not try to strike anyone out, but pitch to contact.”Oakridge closed out the scoring with a run in the sixth inning.
The Eagles were led offensively by Koleman Wall with two hits, while Luke Layman knocked in two runs, and both Jaxon Fri and Kolbe Stewart scored two runs.
“We came out hitting the ball pretty well and scored a couple runs early, then we stopped hitting,” said Muskegon Catholic coach Steve Schuitema. “When their pitcher throws strikes it’s tough to catch them. But I was pleased to get to the finals because we are pretty young this year.”
The Crusaders, now 12-3 on the season. defeated North Muskegon and Montague to get to the title game.
Muskegon Catholic was led by Riley St. Amour, who had two hits, an RBI and scored a run. Josh Holden added a hit and an RBI.