LUDINGTON — Western Michigan Christian and Ludington split a Lakes 8 Activities Conference baseball doubleheader at Ludington on Thursday, the Warriors taking the first game 5-3 and the Orioles winning the nightcap 6-3.
The Warriors grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, and added a single run in the top of the third before the Orioles rallied for two runs in the bottom half to make it a 3-2 game.
But the Warriors responded with two runs in the top of the fifth inning, which was enough to hold off the Orioles who go one back in the bottom of the seventh.
Sam Sipe notched his second win of the season on the mound for the Warriors. He pitched a complete game and gave up two earned runs on seven hits with two walks and six strike outs.
Leading the Warriors at the plate were Sam Liggett and Samuel VanOrman who each had three hits, while Sipe and Alex Wagonmaker each had two runs batted in.
Hayden Madl was the losing pitcher for the Orioles, giving up five earned runs on seven hits and striking out five.
Pacing the Orioles at the plate were Wilson Gunsell who was 2-for-3 with two RBI and Gabe Hogenson who was 2-for-4 with one RBI and a run scored.
In the nightcap WMC scored a run in the top of the first, but the Orioles answered with a five-spot in the bottom half to take a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
Nathan Dillehay was the winning pitcher for the Orioles, throwing seven innings and giving up two earned runs on seven hits and striking out three.
Gunsell was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Dillehay aided his own cause going 2-for-3 with one RBI and a run scored.
“Tonight was a real mixed bag for us,” said Ludington head coach Evan Kroeze. “Pitching and defense-wise, I thought we did a real nice job and set ourselves up with a chance for a sweep.
“At the plate, though, we didn’t have enough quality at bats to get it done. WMC’s pitchers did a nice job keeping us off balance, and we weren’t able to adjust quick enough.
“At the end of the day, we’re proud of the guys for battling through it and getting a split.”
Liggett and Caleb McKay each had two hits for the Warriors. Sipe, Jamie Cho and Ethan Hill each had a run batted in.
“We knew we needed a split to stay in the hunt for the conference title,” said WMC head coach Mark Hill. “We did what we needed to do in that first game.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get it done in the second, putting ourselves in a hole early. However, we never hung our heads and we kept fighting to make a game of it.”
Ludington improved to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the conference.