Big Rapids baseball rebounds to earn split vs Tri County

CARDINALS: Big Rapids shortstop Dakota Sanders leaps to make a catch on Friday at Big Rapids High School. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

CARDINALS: Big Rapids shortstop Dakota Sanders leaps to make a catch on Friday at Big Rapids High School. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

BIG RAPIDS — Big Rapids baseball coach Sam Daugherty said the Central State Activities Association Gold Division is wide open this year.

After losing to defending champion Tri County 6-2 in the opener on Friday, the Cardinals bounced back with a 5-3 victory in the nightcap.

“It’s huge,” Daugherty said of the win that put the team at 3-2 in the CSAA. “Once you lose a doubleheader in the conference, it really puts you behind the eight ball.”

Sophomore John Yonker led the way for the Cardinals (8-6), pitching a complete game four-hitter to improve to 5-0. He struck out eight and also had two hits and two RBIs. He also had two hits in the opener.

“John Yonkers is having an exceptional season thus far,” Daugherty said.

Game 1 was tied 2-2 until the fifth inning, and Yonker pitched out of a jam with the tying runs on base in the bottom of the seventh in Game 2.

“It was two good high school baseball games,” Daugherty said. “Tri County is last year’s conference champions and probably the favorites this year. They play really good baseball. Overall, we continue to get better and our hitting and pitching continue to be strengths. Our fielding is beginning to improve.”

In the nightcap, Dakota Sanders had two hits, two runs scored and three stolen bases, while Keenan McIntyre drove in two.

Big Rapids hosts Reed City on Friday.

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Posted by Ryan Zuke

Ryan is the sports editor for the Big Rapids Pioneer, covering local prep sports and Ferris State athletics. He can be contacted at (231) 592-8363 or rzuke@pioneergroup.com.

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