Tri County baseball team hammers Grant at Fifth Third Ballpark

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 11:27 am on Thursday, May 03, 2012

Tri County’s Jamison Hawley (21) slides into second base safely as the ball gets away from Grant’s Alex Walters, left, during the teams’ game at Fifth Third Ballpark on Monday.

COMSTOCK PARK — Tri County’s annual trip to Fifth Third Ballpark was a successful one this year.

The Vikings had no problems with the Grant Tigers on Monday, winning 10-4 in the annual game at the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps.

The game was between two Lakes 8 Conference teams, but this one didn’t count towards the title.

“It’s good to get a win, play everybody and get a win,” Tri County coach Chris Overbeek said.

After the Vikings (9-7) got a run in the third inning on an RBI single by Brandon Peterman, Tri County hit the third Tiger pitcher of the day, Chad Wilson, for six runs in the fourth on six hits, a walk and three Grant errors to break the game open.

“The six-run fourth, they were one out away from getting out of it with nothing,” Overbeek noted. “Cody Mitz, Cody Dines and Mike Fox all had huge hits in that inning. Those were huge in the game.”

Mitz and Dines plated two runs each with their hits and Fox had an RBI single.

The Vikings put the mercy rule on in the sixth inning with three more runs with RBIs from Ryan McKeever, Dustin Ruppert and Cody Gross.

But the Packers made it interesting against starting pitcher Christian Johnson, scoring four times in the bottom of the sixth on three hits, three walks, a hit batter and two errors.

Johnson still got the win, as he struck out one, walked four and allowed six hits.

“He was just like he was last week against Northview,” Overbeek said of Johnson. “He knows how to throw strikes. I said to Wes (assistant coach Wes Zerlaut) after the fifth inning, ‘It’s not very often in high school baseball a kid is throwing a shutout and has one strikeout.’ I just thought he did a good job of keeping them (Grant) off-balance. He makes you hit it to beat us.”

Jacob Wilde came in for the Tigers in the third inning and gave up the first run, handing him the loss. He went just one-third of an inning and allowed two hits and two walks.

Tri County had 10 hits, all by 10 different hitters.

Overbeek had only one complaint about his team.

“I don’t feel like our energy level was where it should be (Monday), especially playing in a venue like this,” he said. “I didn’t think our kids were that excited, and it got a little sloppy at the end. Those are things we have to clean up.”

The Vikings will go for first place in the Lakes 8 today when they play a doubleheader against Muskegon Orchard View in Howard City.

“We need to be more focused (today),” Overbeek said.

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