Hawkeyes fall to Grand Haven in tourney championship

Justin Genther had a hit in the championship game against Grand Haven.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — After rain canceled their home tournament two weekends ago, the freshmen were eager to participate in Saturday’s Grand Haven tournament.

The Hawkeyes responded with arguably their best two games of the season, but the team came up just short in the tournament championship.

In the opening round, Hamilton defeated familiar-foe Grand Rapids Christian 13-4. The freshman then fell 7-4 to host Grand Haven in the championship game. The team is now 13-12-1 on the season.

“I’m very, very proud of the way our kids played today,” Hamilton coach Josh Hoppe said. “We played great baseball all day, and had a lot of fun doing so. We just had one bad inning that caused us some trouble against Grand Haven.”

GAME ONE – Hamilton 13, Grand Rapids Christian 4

The pitching performance of Ethan Buresh and the blistering hot bats were the stories of the opening round game.

Buresh pitched all seven innings to earn the win. He threw 104 pitches and scattered eight hits. He fanned seven and walked two.

The Hawkeyes provided more than enough offense for their righthander.

Pacing the Hawkeyes was third basemen Tom Schreur, who went 3 for 3 with two doubles and a two-run home run to deep left center, his second of the season. Schreur had three RBIs, scored three runs, and was also intentionally walked.

“Offensively, we hit the ball all over the field today,” Hoppe said. “It’s great to see the guys making this type of progress toward the end of the season.”

Catcher Trenton Haverdink posted a two-hit, two-RBI performance. Cameron Stoel and Buresh each had two hits. Nick Kronemeyer had two hits and two RBIs.

GAME TWO – Grand Haven 7, Hamilton 4

The championship game proved to be a grind-it-out affair. With exception to a four-run fourth inning for Grand Haven, runs were few and far between.

Hamilton was unable to match their offensive output of game one against the Buccaneers. Still, good pitching and solid defense kept the Hawkeyes on the doorstep all game.

Kronemeyer took the loss. He pitched four innings and was tagged for six of Grand Haven’s seven runs. He struck out five and surrendered only five hits, but eight walks helped fuel the Buccaneer offense.

Kronemeyer was relieved by Schreur, who finished the game while holding Grand Haven to only one more run.

“Nick pitched well today,” Hoppe said. “He struggled a bit with control at times, but he held it down and battled through adversity. We just couldn’t get him enough runs to bring home the victory.”

Sean Thompson led the Hawkeyes with his 3 for 3 performance. Stoel was 2 for 2 with a double, and Kronemeyer posted two hits to help his own cause.

Noah Sall, Justin Genther and Schreur also added hits for Hamilton.