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Groves climbs over West Bloomfield in OAA White standings with doubleheader sweep WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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The Falcons picked up 5-4 and 7-1 victories on Monday.

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BEVERLY HILLS — Birmingham Groves surged ahead of West Bloomfield in a key OAA White division doubleheader Monday, moving the Falcons into position to challenge first-place Farmington down the stretch.

The Falcons took two from the Lakers, 5-4 and 7-1, to secure a successful start to this week’s three-game series between the clubs. Groves will be seeking a clean sweep when the series shifts to West Bloomfield for the final game on Wednesday.

Game one was decided in an eventful seventh inning in which the lead toggled twice.

West Bloomfield entered the top half of the inning trailing 3-2, but quickly loaded the bases with nobody out. Nick Seidel tied the game with an RBI single and was followed in the order by Bryce Veasley, whose groundout brought home the go-ahead run to make it 4-3 Lakers. Groves managed to escape the inning with no further damage, setting the stage for its own rally.

In the bottom of the seventh, Chase Ford, the leadoff man, was hit with a pitch and was sacrificed over to second base on a bunt. John Kowalchuk followed with a double to knot the score. Three batters later, with the bases loaded, a ground ball hit to the shortstop by Joe Roberts enabled the game-winning run to cross home on an errant throw to the plate.

“We jumped out to a lead in the first game, but the fact of the matter is we gave them nine free passes, walks and hit batters, and any time you do that, you’re setting yourself up for danger, especially in a close game,” West Bloomfield coach Eric Pierce said.

“It’s a little deflating. You want to be able to finish the game off there, but you can’t expect to win if you’re not doing the right things.”

Groves coach Shawn Morrison said his team’s experience in several one-run games this season helped set the table for the comeback.

“That’s one of those games where we’re fortunate to come out with a victory. Truth be told, that game could have come out either way,” Morrison said.

In the second game, Groves jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a sac fly RBI by Roberts and an RBI bloop single into shallow left field by Andrew Martin that allowed a third run to score on an error.

On the mound for Groves, Martin twirled a complete game gem, inducing 10 ground ball outs and posting five clean, 1-2-3 innings.

“I think Andrew knows how to make his adjustments,” Morrison said. “When it’s all said and done, he gets out in front and gets his release point down to where it needs to be when he misses high. He knows how to move the ball around the plate and keep batters guessing with his offspeed stuff.

“On our team, we don’t have pitchers with overpowering stuff, but we have guys that know how to get outs and that’s the most important thing.”

West Bloomfield’s lone run came on a sacrifice fly by Brendan Bilkovic in the top of the fifth inning to score Seidel, who led off the inning with the first hit allowed by Martin.

The Falcons added four insurance runs in the bottom of the same frame with RBI hits by Conner Bradbury and Evan Gilman.

Martin retired the last six batters in order to finish off the complete game, improving the Falcons’ record to 14-4 (6-2 OAA White).

West Bloomfield dropped to 12-7 (5-3 OAA White). Both teams will try to gain ground on first-place Farmington (7-1) in the coming weeks.

Last Updated: 5/2/2016 9:14:30 PM EST


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