East Grand Rapids baseball team takes two from Greenville

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 11:10 am on Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Greenville’s Parker Syrjala swings at a pitch during the first game of a doubleheader against East Grand Rapids Tuesday.

GREENVILLE — Greenvillle’s baseball team couldn’t find much offense against East Grand Rapids Tuesday, and coach Mike Rasmussen knew it.

“We didn’t have many hits (Tuesday),” Rasmussen said. “We put the ball in play, but didn’t have a lot of hits to show for it.”

The result was two losses to the East Grand Rapids Pioneers by scores of 8-1 and 12-1 in the O-K White Conference opener for both teams.

The Pioneers (4-3, 2-0) scored twice in the first inning of the first game and added a third in the third inning before the Yellow Jackets (1-4, 0-2) got their run on a Parker Syrjala triple and a single by Tyler Orr.

But East Grand Rapids scored four times in the fifth inning on five hits to break the game open.

Greenville, meanwhile, couldn’t muster many hits in a row, though they did have the bases loaded in the third inning. They struck out eight times to two different Pioneer pitchers.

“If you don’t get baserunners you don’t get runs,” Rasmussen said. “Their pitchers threw strikes, kept the ball down and worked ahead in the count.”

Wes Vaughn was the winning pitcher in the game, giving up seven hits and a walk, striking out six of the eight.

Travis Groom took the loss when he scattered 10 hits, striking out four and walking two.

Syrjala and Orr had three hits each in the game.

But the Jackets were stymied even more in the second game, not getting a run until the sixth inning on a Syrjala single, a wild pitch and an RBI error by Stephen Oliver.

“I’m not sure there was much of a difference,” Rasmussen said. “We couldn’t get a whole lot going offensively.”

Meanwhile EGR jumped on Orr for four runs in the first inning, two more in the second and three more in the fourth. The Pioneers scored three times in the sixth for the mercy.

Orr ended up allowing 11 hits while striking out three and walking two in five innings of work.

“We talked at the end of the game about pitchers working ahead in the count and not giving up freebies,” Rasmussen said. “We threw a lot of pitches (Tuesday) and we have to throw more strikes.”

Jamo Karsten wore Orr out, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI to lead East.

Syrjala and Tre Nelson each had two base knocks for Greenville.

The two teams will meet again for a single game Thursday in East Grand Rapids.

“Thursday we have to come back and get them (East),” Rasmussen said. “That’s where we have to make our adjustments, keeping the ball down and not giving them free base on balls.”

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