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Diamond Roundup: TC West takes on Petoskey in baseball, softball doubleheader ahead of Thursday's ribbon cutting; Glen Lake wins Northwest Conference

May 14—TRAVERSE CITY — Titan fans enjoyed a Tuesday evening of baseball and softball at Traverse City West's new athletic facilities ahead of Thursday's rescheduled ribbon-cutting ceremony that was rained out last week.

"I'm super excited for the community. It was a long time coming, and it feels great that it's here," West Athletic Director Jason Carmien said. "Being displaced last year was difficult. Now that we're back home after the renovations and in these new facilities, it's awesome."

Although the ribbon cutting is Thursday, the Titans have already broken in their new digs this baseball and softball season. West hosted Petoskey for a Big North Conference doubleheader on both diamonds, with the Titans' baseball team going 2-0 over Petoskey and the softball squad going 0-2.

The Titans won a pitchers' duel in game one of the baseball doubleheader. Jack Griffiths went seven shutout innings for West, allowing two hits and striking out a baker's dozen.

Griffiths also led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. Brayden Popa and Mike Healy both followed with bunt singles to load the bases, and Blake DuBois walked it off with a single for the 1-0 victory.

Between games, the Titans' scoreboard put up a "9" in the West run column in honor and memoriam of the late Sam DeKuiper, a West graduate and multi-sport athlete for the Titans who was killed in a car crash May 3. DeKuiper was 22 years old.

West scored a run in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead in game two before Petoskey tied it in the top of the fourth. The Titans put up three runs in the bottom half of the frame for the 4-1 win.

Caden Stoops pitched a complete game, giving up two hits with 11 strikeouts. Sawyer Vanderlinde and Maverick Richard each had two hits in the win.

In the softball twinbill, the Titans dropped the first game to Petoskey in extra innings by a 5-3 final. West trailed 3-0 but scored a run in the bottom of the sixth and plated two in the bottom of the seventh when Delaney Witkop hit an RBI triple to right field and then scored on a throwing error.

Katie Hansen scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly, and Petoskey added an insurance run in the top of the eighth to get the win.

Game two looked as if it would go in the Titans' favor after a four-run bottom of the first inning to lead 4-1. Witkop had another RBI triple and then scored on a sacrifice bunt. Autumn McSawby roped a double into the gap and came home after two wild pitches.

Petoskey got back within one on a bloop two-out, two-run single just over Witkop's head to make it 4-3. Witkop would get one of those runs back with an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth, but Danyelle Cadarette had herself a game with a game-tying two-run homer for Petoskey to make it 5-5.

Freshman and JV call-up Kyra Coles sent the Titans' dugout into a frenzy with a three-run bomb in the bottom of the fifth for an 8-5 Titan lead, but Petoskey went on to score 10 unanswered runs for the 15-8 victory.

The baseball, softball and soccer facilities include a new entrance area with a ticketing station, bathrooms, concession stands, changing rooms for officials and locker rooms. Along with the new dugouts, fencing and netting for both baseball and softball, the fields have also been completely redone. The lighting is also new along with team locker rooms as well as press boxes and bleachers behind home plate.

"It was quite the project," Carmien said. "To see kids out there playing this spring is great. It's a good feeling."

The upgrade projects to West's athletic facilities were approved with an $8.3 million price tag along with a 7.5 percent contingency from Traverse City Area Public Schools' $107 million capital bond that taxpayers approved by nearly a 2-to-1 margin in August 2018.

Bids for the project were broken down into 12 categories with work scheduled to begin in June 2022 and completed by April 1 of this year. Issues with drainage, however, pushed back completion and required more work to be done to fix problems with standing water on the softball field.

"Stuff settles, and you just have to fix it," Carmien said. "We're slowly getting there, but we're playing."

Work on the softball field was being done the day before the originally scheduled ribbon-cutting ceremony that was postponed because of rain. There was also water pooling behind home plate on the baseball field, and the new soccer field also had some drainage issues.

"It's like a new house. You have stuff that you're still tweaking," Carmien said last week. "We've been playing on it, but we've had some drainage issues and have been trying to fix that in between home dates."

The issue wasn't completely unexpected as an analysis of the soil from the varsity and practice soccer fields showed it could withstand 1 to 2 inches of rain per hour. Comparison with the Trojan Athletic Complex showed that soil could support 8 inches of rain per hour.

TCAPS Superintendent John VanWagoner said issues like the ones at West are often "normal" when renovating and building new facilities.

"Whenever you have a large construction process like that, you always have little things that pop up," VanWagoner said. "At one point, I was really worried about not having grass over there. They didn't get it seeded until early September, but fortunately, we had a long growing season last fall and the grass is great over there now."

VanWagoner said the project is within the approved budget even with the extra work that has had to be done after the original completion of the facilities.

"That's all a part of the warranty on the work that was done," he said.

Ashley Alvey, the first-year head coach for the Titans' softball program, had voiced some frustrations about the drainage issues on the softball field, but she said Tuesday that she was pleased with the progress that had been made in the last week.

"They are working great, and Dr. VanWagoner is being so awesome through all of this," Alvey said. "He's made sure that people are getting back out and getting it fixed so these girls can play. It was nice to see him out here today supporting the girls."

Alvey said they are continuing to work to make sure the field is playable every day.

"We're pretty happy with it," she said. "I definitely think we're being heard now by the district. Our families are spreading their voices and getting the word out that this needed to be done correctly. Moves are being made in the right direction."

West baseball head coach Matt Bocian said, despite some of the work that needed to be done during the season, that the new field is "definitely an upgrade" from what they had before.

"We're extremely grateful for the investment from our district, not only for our current players but for the players who will be here for years to come," Bocian said. "The future Titans are going to be reaping the benefits of that investment."

Bocian called the upgrades "much needed."

"It is a beautiful place to watch a game," he said.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for Thursday from 4-4:30 p.m. at the baseball and softball fields. Thursday will also be senior day for the softball team.

SOFTBALL

TC Central 17 18

Cadillac 0 0

Game 1: Traverse City Central — Camryn Craig (W) 1 IP, 3 K; Grace Cary H, R; Craig 2 H, RBI; Audrey Williams H, R; Hannah Fellows 2 H, 2 R, 2 RBI; Anika Peterson 2 H, 2 R, 2 RBI; Anna Tbazka H, R; Evie Nowicki RBI; Hayden Boonstra H, R; Taryn Beamish R.

Game 2: Central — Williams (W) 3 IP, 0 HA, 4 K; Cary 3 H, 3 R, 3 RBI; Ava King H, 2 R, 2 RBI; Craigh 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI; Williams H, 3 RBI; Peterson H, 3 R, RBI; Tbazka H, 3 R, RBI; Nowicki 3 H, 2 R, 3 RBI; Madison Poortenga H, 2 R; Beamish R.

Manton 18 20

Roscommon 0 0

Manton game 1: Aliyah Geary (W) 4 IP, 2 HA, 7 K; Morgan Shepler 2 H, 3B, 4 R, RBI; Geary 2 H, 2 R, 2 RBI; Adriana Sackett 2B, 3B, HR, 4 R, 2 RBI; Genna Alexander 2 2B, 2 R, RBI; Kadie Meyer 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Manton game 2: Maggie Powers (W) 2.2 IP, 1 HA, 5K; Shepler 2 H, 2B, 3 R; Geary 2 H, 2B, 2 R, RBI; Sackett 2 H, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI; Alexander 2 H, 3 R, RBI; K. Niehardt 2 R, RBI; Kyra Johnson H, 3 RBI; Karley Wurm H, R, 2 RBI.

Buckley 6 7

Onekama 3 6

Game 1: Buckley —Maddie Chilson (W) 6 IP, ER, 11K; Chilson 3 H, HR, 2 R; Avery Matthews 3B; Allie Brimmer 2 H, 3B, 3 RBI.

Game 2: Buckley — Chilson (W) 1 IP, 2 K; Kayla Milarch 5 IP, 9 K; Chilson 3 H, game-winning 3B, 2B, 2 RBI; Milarch 2B, R; Brimmer 2 H, 2B, 2 RBI; Allanah Kine 2 H, R; Amaya Kaufmann 2 H, R.

Gaylord 5 5

Alpena 3 4

Gaylord game 1: W. Bethyy (W) 5 IP, 5 HA, 2 RA, ER, 2 K; A. Locker 2 H, R; B. Radulski H, 2 RBI; A. Hornbaker H, RBI; C. Piehl H, R.

Gaylord game 2: F. Miller (W) 1.2 IP, 1 HA, 1 K; L. Green 2 H, R; Locker H, RBI; Bethuy H, RBI.

Kingsley 8 4

Frankfort 0 1

Game 1: Kingsley — Grace Lewis (W) 6 IP, 14 K; Grace Lewis 2 H, HR, 2 RBI, 3 SB; Jayden Sinkes 3 H, 2 RBI; Grace Merchant 3 H, 2RBI.

Game 2: Kingsley — Lewis (W) 6 IP, 10 K, ER; Alyssa Hamilton 2 H; Annie Strang HR.

Benzie Central 26 15

Glen Lake 1 10

Game 1: Benzie — Grace Heiges (W) 4 HA, 7 K; Maicee Jones H; Maddy Swander 2 2B; G. Heiges 2 H, 2B; Mya Heinz H; Lizzy Lintz 3 H, 2B; Lydia Heiges 2 H; Marie Readlinger 2 H; Paige Caple 3 H. Glen Lake — Jessie Pugh 4 IP; Laila Shimek 2 H, 3B, R; Tila Shimek H; Grace Noonan H.

Game 2: Benzie — G. Heiges (W) 7 HA, 8 K; Swander 2B; G. Heiges 3 H, 3B, HR, 3 RBI; Heinz H; Lintz 2 H, 2B; L. Heiges 2B; Readlinger H; Caple H. Glen Lake — Pugh 5 IP; Ella Flores 2 H, R, 2 RBI; Pugh 4 H, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2 SB; Elodia Peplinski 2 H, R, SB.

BASEBALL

TC Central 4 9

Cadillac 11 3

Game 1: Cadillac — K. Westdorp (W) 2 IP, 2 HA, 2 ER, 2 K; N. Roberts H, R, 3 RBI; C. James H, 2 RBI; C. Larr 2 H, 2 R, 2 RBI. Traverse City Central — Nicholas Van Nes 2 H, R; Carson Spica 2 R; Brady Ripmaster 3B, 2 RBI; Grant Sivier 2B, 3B.

Game 2: Central — Jack Reb (W) 4 IP, 2 HA, 3 RA, 0 ER, 6 K; Van Nes H, R, 3 RBI; Brady Slocum H, R, RBI; Zander Lorincz 2 H, 2 R, 2 RBI; Isaac Turnwald R, RBI; Spica 2 H, 2 R, RBI; Ripmaster H, R, RBI. Cadillac — C. Franklin RBI; D. Kornacki RBI; L. Phillips 2 H, RBI.

Lakers clinch Northwest Conference title

MAPLE CITY — Glen Lake swept Benzie Central 3-2 and 10-0 on Tuesday to move to 10-0 in the Northwest Conference and claim the conference championship.

"We won three conference championships in a row and then finished second for six straight years; so it feels good to finally break through and get one again," Glen Lake head coach Kris Herman said. "Our pitching has been really good this year, and the guys played just enough defense and scraped for just enough runs to get it done in the first game. I was really proud of how they stayed steady and got it done."

Game 1: Glen Lake — wins clinch Northwest Conference title for the Lakers at 10-0 in NWC; Cooper Bufalini (W) 2 HA, 2 RA, ER, 12 K; Benji Allen 2 H, 2B; Bufalini 2 H; Tanner Crick 2 H. Benzie — Lane Sanchez 4.1 IP, 6 HA, 5 K; Tegan Chicky 2 H; Dan Wallington H, RBI.

Game 2: Glen Lake — Allen (W) 1 HA, 10 K; Peter Gelsinger 2 H; Aiden Gokey 2 H. Benzie — Evan Chandler 2 IP, 3 HA, 4 RA, 0 ER, 2K.

Kingsley 13 4

Frankfort 3 0

Game 1: Kingsley — Kolsen Orton 3 H, R, RBI; Landon Durkin 2 R, 2 R, 2 RBI; Bode Bielas 3 H, 2 R; Barrett Bielas H, RBI, 1 IP, 2 K; Brian George H, R; Andrew George H, R; Ben Green R, RBI; Nate Green H, R, RBI.

Game 2: — Kingsley; Duking (W) 6 IP, 3 HA, 10 K; Orton H, R.

Grayling 4 21

Onaway 7 7

Grayling: Corbin Allen 5.2 IP, 3 HA, 5 RA, 2 ER, 10K; Brodie Goss 2 IP, 0 HA, 4 RA, 2 ER, 3 K; Vaughn Gaertner 3 IP, 2 HA, 3 RA, 0 ER, 3 K; Allen 6 H, 2 2B, 6 RBI, 3 R, 5 SB; Jake Huspen 4 H, 2 RBI, 4 R, SB; Austin Schwartz 3 H, 2B, RBI, 4 R; Dayton Joseph 2 H, RBI, 4 R, SB; Gross 3 H, 4 RBI, 3 R, 2 SB; Mason Strohpaul H, 2 RBI, 2 R.

Buckley 13 16

Onekama 1 1

Game 1: Buckley — Coy Breithaupt (W) 5 IP, 2 HA, 1 ER, 11 K; Carter Williams H, R, 2 RBI; Breithaupt 2 H, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; Landon Kulawiak 3 BB, 3 R; Aaron Frasier H, R, 2 RBI; Theron McEachern 2 H, 2 R, RBI.

Game 2: Buckley — Kulawiak (W) 0 ER, 0 HA, 8 K; Williams 2 H, 2 R; Breithaupt H, 2 R, RBI; Austin Matthews 2 H, 2 R; Jaxon Jerrett 2 H, 3 R, 3 RBI; Jud Rath H RBI.

Petoskey JV 3 6

TC West JV 0 0

Traverse City West: Calum Collins 5 IP, 3 RA, 2 ER, 2 HA, 5 K; Logan LaCourse 4.1 IP, 6 RA, 3 ER, 9 HA, 3 K; Collins 2 H; LaCourse H.