Rob Lancour went out to the mound to throw out the first pitch as Ludington honored the memory of his son, U.S. Army Specialist Joe Lancour, who was killed in action in Eastern Afghanistan in 2007.
Orioles’ head coach Evan Kroeze decided to hold the ceremony because it became apparent that people had forgotten that Joe Lancour’s number 3 was retired years ago.
“It was an emotional moment for everyone,” said Kroeze. “Even our (public address) announcer Skip (Todd Hanson), a veteran himself, you could hear it in his voice.
“You could feel the emotion on the field. It was a special moment.”
Ludington made the day complete when the Orioles swept the Crusaders, 9-2 and 7-4 in baseball action.
Hayden Madl was the winning pitcher in the first game, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out four in 4 2/3 innings. Jonny Weinert pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief and struck out four.
Wilson Gunsell paced the Orioles at the plate, going 2-for-3 with three runs batted in. Gabe Hogenson was 2-for-2 with a run batted in and two runs scored.
Nathan Dillehay took the hill for game two and gave up just one earned run on three hits with six strike outs in 5 1/3 innings. Weinert got the save with two strike outs in 1 2/3 innings.
Weinert also went 1-for-2 with two runs scored.
“I thought our pitching was phenomenal,” Kroeze said. “Our starters gave us a shot to win both games by attacking the strike zone, and what Jonny Weinert did in relief was incredible.
“Putting him in twice with the bases loaded with the game on the line, and slamming the door shut shows how great of a competitor he is.”