Cardinals fall to Oilers in pre-district contest

FASTBALL: Big Rapids’ Tim Thebo releases a fastball in the third inning against Mount Pleasant on Wednesday at Big Rapids High School. The Cardinals fell to the Oilers 16-0 in four innings. (Pioneer photo/Richard Mead)

FASTBALL: Big Rapids’ Tim Thebo releases a fastball in the third inning against Mount Pleasant on Wednesday at Big Rapids High School. The Cardinals fell to the Oilers 16-0 in four innings. (Pioneer photo/Richard Mead)

Mount Pleasant baseball defeats Big Rapids 16-0 in pre-district matchup

BIG RAPIDS — Despite getting hot on a late-season push, the Big Rapids varsity baseball team was trumped by Mount Pleasant 16-0 in four innings on Wednesday in pre-district action.

The Cardinals (13-17) went 9-3 in their past 12 games before facing off against the defending Division 2 state champion Oilers.

“We played very good competition this year, especially in the last part of the season,” Big Rapids coach Sam Daugherty said. “Unfortunately, we drew Mount Pleasant in this game, but the silver lining is we had a lot of juniors play today who now know they can compete against teams like this.”

Tim Thebo and Hunter Walch each had singles, the only two hits Big Rapids registered.

“They fought every single pitch,” Daugherty said. “Even after being down 15-0, they were scrapping and grinding on every pitch.”

On the mound, starting pitcher Tim Folkema threw two innings before Thebo took over in relief, pitching one inning. Maverick Steffes and Keenan McIntyre also saw action on the mound, with McIntyre finishing with three strikeouts through one inning of work.

“I’m extremely proud of them,” Daugherty said. “I’m appreciative of how they are developing the program and pointing it in the right direction. Great group of kids. They’re gritty and they want to get better.

“The season as a whole can be broken up into three parts: The first part, where we came together as a team, the second part, where we learned to compete with good teams and the third, where we actually put people away and made plays like we should. I think our hitting was our strength, and our pitching got better as the year went on. The last six games of the regular season were all complete games from our pitching staff.”

Although the Cardinals saw an early exit in the postseason, Daugherty believes this year’s team laid the foundation for years to come.

“A majority of our team will be back next year and our junior varsity team went 23-7,” Daugherty said. “The future looks very bright with this group of kids. They play hard and they want to learn, they don’t give up and they will be heard from in the future.”

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