Late homers help JV stun Zeeland East

HAMILTON, Mich — After giving up a two run lead in the seventh inning during their last encounter the JV Hawkeyes were looking to even the score with Zeeland East. Things did not look promising early on as the Chix jumped out to a 5-1 lead after two innings and extended the lead to 9-3 at the end of four.

“We made far to many mental mistakes early on,” Hamilton coach Brian Grabinski said. “We seemed to be just going through the motions with very little focus or intensity.”

Entering the seventh inning Zeeland East seemed to have the game in hand with a 9-4 lead. However, what followed will not soon be forgotten by any of the Hawkeyes involved.

After Keith Phillips singled to lead off the inning, Adam Schreur and RJ Flowers both followed with walks. The bases remained loaded after a Cody Buresh single drove in one run to make the score 9-5. Freshman Joey DeGood then emptied the bases with a dramatic grand slam to tie the score at 9-9.

The Hawkeyes went to work in the eighth after holding the Chix scoreless in their half of the seventh. Adam Schreur and RJ Flowers both singled after the first two Hawkeye batters were retired. This set the stage for Cody Buresh, who responded with a three-run, line drive home run over the left field fence to give Hamilton a 12-9 lead.

Despite the Chix being able to plate one run in the bottom of the eighth the Hawkeyes held on for a thrilling 12-10 victory. Keith Phillips picked up the win in relief, throwing four innings while surrendering one run on two hits and striking out eight Chix batters. Multi-hit games were enjoyed by Phillips, Flowers, Buresh, DeGood and Ben Baker. With the win the Hawkeyes ran their record to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the O-K Green.

“I could not be more proud of how we responded to adversity today,” Grabinski said. “We’ve really been focusing on that since the last time we played them and to see our boys continue to play hard and refuse to quit even when things seemed bleak was a great thing. However, what I’m most proud of is the exemplary sportsmanship and class that our kids continue to show on a daily basis.”

The JV Hawkeyes return to action on Tuesday when they host O-K Green rival Wyoming Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15.