By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Grand Rapids, MI---The Express baseball team split a doubleheader with Grand Rapids Community College on Saturday.
Game 1: Owens 3 Grand Rapids 1 (9 innings)
Owens took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Michael Louis singled and Nate Manis reached on an error to lead off. After a sacrifice bunt by Travis Tackett, Nick Collins had an RBI single and Ryan Horvath had an RBI groundout.
In the sixth, Manis singled and stole second with one out. One out later, Collins knocked him in with an RBI double.
Ward exited the game with two runners on and no outs in the seventh. Juday relieved him and got a pop out to first, a pick off and a fly out to center to end the inning.
Ward's final line included six innings, six hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Juday finished with two innings, three hits, one run and zero walks. He struck out one.
Clayton Ruch pitched the ninth for the Express. He walked one, but held GRCC scoreless while accumulating one strikeout and picking up the save.
Brenden Bender took the loss for Grand Rapids. He went the first seven innings while allowing nine hits, three runs and one walk. He struck out six. Ty Wilson pitched the final two innings.
Collins and Ryan Hotmer each finished with two hits for the Express, while Collins added two RBIs. Ron Sanders had two hits for Grand Rapids.
Game 2: Grand Rapids 4 Owens 3
In a sloppy defensive game by both teams, Grand Rapids won 4-3 on a walk-off error in the bottom of the seventh.
Similar to the first game, the Express took an early 2-0 lead. In the first, Horvath and Manis singled to lead off. Hotmer singled one out later and an error on the play allowed Horvath to score. Logan Shullick then executed a squeeze bunt to score Manis and put Owens up 2-0.
Grand Rapids then added single runs in the first and second innings to tie the game.
The Express took a 3-2 lead in the fifth on an RBI groundout by Horvath that scored Trevor Ozenbaugh, who had walked, stole second, and advanced to third on a bad throw to second.
Grand Rapids would tie the game in the bottom of the sixth on an unearned run off Express pitcher Jesse Castilleja before their walk-off win in the seventh.
Castilleja took the loss for the Express as he pitched the final 1.1 innings and allowed one hit, two runs (zero earned), and two walks while striking out one.
Andrew Joseph started for Owens and went the first four innings. He allowed one hit, two runs (one earned) and three walks while striking out three. Adam Jones relieved him and pitched one inning and allowed one hit and one walk while striking out three.
Austin Stephens got the win in relief for Grand Rapids. He went the final two innings and allowed one hit while striking out two in a scoreless outing.
The Express got single hits Horvath, Manis and Ruch. Grand Rapids was led by Tyler Duke, who went 2-for-3 with a double and a run.
The Saturday doubleheader was supposed to be played at Owens. However, rain forced the game to be played in Grand Rapids. A trip to Owens was then scheduled for GRCC on Sunday, but unplayable field conditions forced the postponement of that doubleheader.
The Express fall to 2-13 on the season. Their next action is scheduled for Wednesday at 4 p.m. on the road against Adrian College JV.
Some of the pitching stats in the box scores are incorrect. Specifically, the innings pitched for Andrew Joseph and Alex Juday are wrong. We're working to fix the problem.