LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The 59th Dean Shippey Capital Diamond Classic tournament has already proven to bring some excitement and great high school baseball here in Mid-Michigan. But what transpired on Wednesday night at Kirchir Municipal Park brought out some intense competition from the four remaining teams.
In the first semifinal, defending champion Grand Ledge was looking to get back to the championship game but first, the Comets would test their might against a tough Okemos team.
Okemos got off to a fast start, in the top of the first inning Caleb Bonemer hit a line drive into center field which brought his older brother Gabe Bonemer home from second to take a 1-0 lead.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning of this seven-inning tournament game when Grand Ledge would respond. GL’s Cole Mance hit a ground ball that took a mean hop and found its way into left field. Okemos couldn’t corral it which brought Owen Smith all the way home from second base to tie the game up 1-1.
We would need extra innings to decide this one. In the top of the eighth inning, Tommy Balesky hit a ground ball down the third-base line which bounced around the third baseman and gave Caleb Bonemer all the time he needed to come home from second and take a 2-1 lead.
But Grand Ledge would answer back in the bottom of the eighth. With runners in scoring position, Logan Todd hit a sacrifice fly-ball to left field giving Nathan Droste plenty of time to run home from third to tie it all up 2-2. A few batters later, GL’s Aiden Alspaugh hit a line drive into center field as Noah Warren all the time he needed to score from second for the walk-off win, 3-2.
After the game, Alspaugh and Warren shared what was going through their heads during their walk-off win.
“I was just hoping it got under his legs, thankfully it did but that’s really all that was on my mind and hoping that our guy on third got home,” said Alspaugh.
“It’s so stressful, it’s so stressful being out there I mean it’s exciting but I mean I trust the guys,” said Warren. “Our seniors trust the guys we know they’re gonna pull through and we had a senior do it tonight we had a sophomore do it last night, so we’re just gonna keep rolling.”
In the second semifinal game, DeWitt and Eaton Rapids had a back-and-forth battle. The Panthers pounced in the third inning with an RBI double by Grant Uyl bringing home Julian Helmic to take a 1-0 lead.
Then in the bottom of the third inning, Isaac Anderson laid down the sacrifice bunt but the Panthers couldn’t get a hold of the ball in the thick grass as Trey Acker scored to tie it all up 1-1.
But the Panthers would have the last laugh beating Eaton Rapids 6-3 and advancing to Monday night’s Diamond Classic championship game. Your 6 Sports Team will have full coverage of the Diamond Classic final, first pitch between Grand Ledge and DeWitt is set for 7 p.m. at Kircher Municipal Park.