By ERIC BENAC
News Sports Writer
HILLMAN The Hillman invitation came and went on Saturday and it was a big day for the Hillman baseball team as they not only picked up a tight 6-5 win against a rallying Alcona team but were able to convincingly defeat mercy Rogers City 15-0 after three innings.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Hillman’s Mike?Klein slides to first to avoid getting thrown out in the championship game of the Hillman Invitational against Rogers City on?Saturday.
Rogers City picked up a second place trophy while Alcona was able to get third in the consolation game against Marquette.
Hillman's winning pitcher for the championship game was Mason VanPamel, an All-Area basketball pick for 2012. He pitched three innings, gave up two walks, three strike outs and one hit.
"It feels really great to win like that, to come out strong. We got a good team and we proved what we could do today," he said.
Hillman started out quickly in the championship game, picking up five straight hits off Rogers City's Colton Fesslor as well as three runs. They batted through the order one time in the first inning.
Rogers City has a young team made mostly of juniors and sophomores and haven't had a lot of time on the field this year due to the weather.
"We played a lot of different kids tonight, as we haven't been out a lot. We've been trying to find out who can throw and what they can throw and to find everybody's place on the field," Rogers City head coach Wayne Karsten said.
Rogers City played solid defensive and didn't make any errors or mistakes during the game. Hillman was just able to consistently hit and hit to the holes.
Rogers City picked up a hit in the first inning but were otherwise shut out.
The Tigers came out swinging in the second and went seven batters without a single out. Every one of these batters scored. Replacement pitcher Quintin Kelly was able to get out two in a row but gave up three hits and two runs before getting the final out to go up 12-0.
Jacob Malocha of Rogers City was able to pull a walk in the top of the third that turned into a double play after VanPamel caught a Quintin Kelly line drive and threw to Kyle Hennigan at first to tag out Malocha.
Hillman then picked up their final three runs in the bottom of the third to end the game.
"It feels really great, really nice to come out like as big as we did on the bats tonight. Mason is a big part of what we do as a team but we have a really deep pitching roster this year," Hillman head coach Rick Furhman said.
Hillman picked up 14 hits, drew five walks and left three men on base. Mike Klein, VanPamel and David Julka all picked up three hits.
The first Hillman game saw a sixth inning Alcona rally stopped cold with the bases loaded. They were down 6-5 when Jared Steiner got hit by a pitch. However, it was ruled a strike by the umpire as he was standing over the base when it occurred.
Steiner then hit a ground ball and was thrown out at first to end the game.
Dylan Ross pitched the first game for Hillman, picking up four strike outs, drawing four walks, giving up five runs and six hits.
Rogers City put up a great performance against Marquette in their first game, winning 5-3 off an Evan Lamb two run double that helped contribute to a four run inning in the fifth. Marquette wasn't able to catch up.
Alcona was able to convincingly defeat Marquette 11-2 in the consolation game by utilizing consistent hitting and solid, focused defensive play and a seven run fifth inning that saw the Tigers pick up eight hits and leave no more stranded on base.
They picked up their first four runs relatively slowly, picking up one run in the first inning after Steiner hit a single, stole second, got to third on a balk and then stole third. They were then able to gather three more runs in the next two innings for a 4-0 lead.
The Tigers were able to pick up seven hits in three innings off the pitches of Marquette's Jay Oberg but a change of pitcher shut down Alcona in the fourth.
Alcona's Carson Jamieson gave up only three hits, two walks and struck out seven batters. Marquette was able to pick up two runs in the fifth to narrow the spread to 4-2.
The Tigers stopped any Marquette comeback with their seven run fifth inning. They had two outs and a man on base when the ref awarded the game to Alcona due to the two hour game time limit imposed during invitational tournaments.
"It was great to bounce back like that in the second game like that and come away with a convincing win," Alcona head coach Terry Franklin said.