ROGERS CITY-As it tends to do this time of year, the Rogers City baseball team is playing great ball at the right time.
Such was the case on Monday as the Hurons rolled over Harbor Light 10-0 in six innings in a Division 4 district semifinal game at Gilpin Field.
The Hurons (15-18) scored in each of the first three innings and made all the defensive plays it needed to make, limiting the Swordsmen to four hits.
News Photo by James Andersen
Rogers City’s Evan Lamb, right, is congratulated by Alex Andrzejewski after scoring in the third inning of a Division 4 district semifinal game in Rogers City on Monday.
"We've been focused playing ball lately and we're playing a lot better as of late," Rogers City c oach Wayne Karsten said. "We did what we say we're going to do all year: We threw strikes, we put the ball the ball in play and we made the routine play, I don't think we had an error again today."
Paul Wilbert found his groove early for the Hurons on the mound, finishing with eight strikeouts while allowing just four hits and a walk. The Swordsmen didn't collect their first hit of the game until the fourth inning when Wilbert allowed a single with two outs.
"Paul pitched against these guys earlier this year and he threw a one-hitter against them, struck out 12, so I said 'Hey, a smart coach will probably throw that kid again,'" Karsten said. "He did his job, he threw strikes, made plays and did a great job."
Rogers City started fast as its first four batters got on base in the first inning. The Hurons got two runs on passed balls and two more after an RBI double from Chris Peacock and a sacrifice fly from Chase Grulke.
Harbor Light starter Jacob Ellis struggled to find the strike zone and the Hurons were happy to take advantage. Rogers City stretched its lead to 6-0 in the second inning after scoring twice on passed balls.
The Swordsmen stranded five baserunners for the game, including two each in the third and fifth innings. With runners on the corners in the fifth inning, Wilbert escaped the jam with a strikeout and a ground ball to end the Harbor Light threat.
Rogers City added three runs in the third after an RBI double from Lance Schaedig and an RBI single from Wilbert. Evan Lamb put the Hurons up 7-0 after he was caught in a rundown and managed to beat it and cross home plate.
The Hurons sealed the game in the sixth inning after a walk-off error on a ball hit by Schaedig gave Rogers City the win by mercy rule.
Offensively, Wilbert led the Hurons with four hits and an RBI. Schaedig added had two hits.
Rogers City will play for the district title today against Onaway, which beat Alanson 13-1 in the second game. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Gilpin Field.
Karsten is confident in his team's chances of winning a fourth-straight district title especially with the way the Hurons have been playing as of late.
"We're playing great ball right now. No doubt about it," Karsten said. "These kids have got confidence and they know they can beat anybody that's out there."