Fennville baseball can’t sustain fast start in loss to Hopkins
By Jason Wesseldyk
HOPKINS—According to a popular adage, it’s not how you start, but rather how you finish that’s important.
That was certainly the case for senior James Wubben during the Hopkins baseball team’s season opener against visiting Fennville on Friday, March 23.
After allowing four runs on three hits and two walks in the opening inning, Wubben settled down to hold Fennville hitless over the next five innings as the Vikings came back to post the 10-4 victory.
Senior Cam Kennedy worked around a two-out walk to close out the game with a scoreless seventh inning for Hopkins.
Freshman shortstop Brody Peterson started the first-inning uprising off of Wubben with a leadoff single. He later stole second base before scoring on a single by Austin Scovill, who eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it a 2-0 Fennville lead.
Ace Flores provided the final Blackhawk hit of the inning, collecting a two-out single that plated Nathan Spiece and Parker Kloosterman. Both Spiece and Kloosterman reached base via a walk.
The second frame didn’t start much better for Wubben, who walked Nathan Schmuck to start the inning. But Wubben got out of the inning unscathed.
The next four innings saw Wubben allow a single base runner—a two-out walk by Justin Schut in the fifth inning—before exiting the game after six innings.
In all, Wubben allowed four runs on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts in six innings of work.
“We still had some good at bats after the first inning, we just hit the ball right at people as Hopkins settled in and made the plays,” Fennville coach Steve Peterson said. “It was the first varsity game for many of our guys and we made some mistakes that I believe we will make as we relax and the season goes on.”
Offensively, Hopkins evened the score at 4-4 with a four-run rally in the bottom of the second inning.
Junior Tyler TeHenneepe started the frame with a leadoff single and ended up scoring on an error. Jacob Pals contributed an RBI single, while Brenden Gossman drove in a run with a fielder’s choice.
The score remained deadlocked until the bottom of the fifth when an RBI triple by TeHenneepe plated Tyler Zomerlei with the go-ahead run.
Hopkins tacked on five insurance runs in the sixth inning to pull away. A two-run triple by Gossman, a run-scoring double by Braeden Gill and an RBI single by Pals highlighted the rally.
TeHenneepe finished 3-for-4 with a double and a triple, while Pals was 2-for-3.
Spiece started on the mound for Fennville and worked the first three innings for the no-decision. He allowed four runs—only one of which was earned—on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Brody Peterson pitched the next 2-2/3 and was saddled with the loss, surrendering five runs—three earned—on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Despite starting the season with a loss, Steve Peterson has high hopes for the remainder of the season.
“This is a great group,” he said. “Even though we didn’t finish this game the way we would have liked, I’m excited.”