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Royal Oak and Groves split a doubleheader with identical 4-3 results WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Game Info

Baseball - 5/14/2016 

Birmingham Groves 3-4
Royal Oak 4-3
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BIRMINGHAM - On a cold and damp Saturday, two five inning games were welcomed as Groves hosted Royal Oak on the Falcons’ senior day. The teams split with Royal Oak (18-4, 11-0 OAA Gold tied with Lathrup) winning game one 4-3 and Groves (20-7, 8-3 OAA White) taking the nightcap.

In the first game, the visiting Ravens put up two runs in the top of the first and two more in the top of the fourth. Victory looked certain until the bottom of the fifth when the Groves offense found some traction against sophomore righty Andrew Holloway who had a shutout brewing

A pair of singles and hit a batter to loaded the bases. An RBI walk cracked open the scoreboard for Groves. The Ravens Rob DeBastos was called on to close down the threat and the sophomore right-hander picked up a strikeout for the second out of the final inning. An infield hit brought home a second run in the inning on a hard shot off of the Raven’s third basemen which ended up in left field. The tying runner, Michael Pastoria was on his way home but the Raven’s left fielder, Jake Isaacson cut him down at the plate to stop the threat and secure the win. Holloway (2-0) picked up the win and DeBastos recorded the save for the Ravens.

Cam Kollins, Dave Lundeen, DeBastos and Antonio Christou each had RBI hits in the game for Royal Oak. John Kowalchuk and Chaise Ford each had an RBI for Groves.

After a between game celebration to honor Groves seniors, the Falcon offense was still sizzling in the 49 degree, gray and wet day. In the bottom of the first, Kowalchuk hit a one-out single followed by a Zavier Warren walk. After a flyout, Joe Roberts drew a walk to load the bases. Designated hitter Leo Dudas then laced a three-RBI double. In the bottom of the second, Groves added another run when Doug Roche picked up a lead off walk. A sacrifice bunt by Ford put runners on first and second. Kowalchuk then recorded a double scored which scored Roche for the 4-0 lead.

The Ravens cut the lead to 4-2 in the top of the third. Abe Vincil led off with an infield single followed by a Holloway walk. Cam Kollins followed with an infield single to load the bases. Two batters later, Abe Vincil hit a two-run RBI single through the infield but the Ravens couldn’t bring home the rest of the runners.

The Ravens threatened in the top of the fifth as Vincil singled and later scored on Kollins RBI double. Tom Pagen flied out to right field to end the game, 4-3 in favor of the Falcons.

“We were fortunate to get a win against a team as good as Groves,” Royal Oak head coach Greg Porter said of game one. “Andrew threw a good game and threw strikes and we caught the ball.”

In game two, the Ravens were looking to come from behind but ran out of outs.

“Sometimes that five inning (game) works for you and sometimes it doesn’t,” Coach Porter said. “I thought Hayden (Haran) threw well. He had that one inning where he walked a couple of guys and they both scored.”

Groves head coach Shawn Morrison needed both wins, not just one. “With our record a split is not something we want,” Coach Morrison said. “We’ve played a lot of close games and I’d like to see us on the winning end of more of those. We haven’t been shut out this year. We’ve been able to dial in and make it happen. Our seniors stepped up and contributed to today’s win.”

Senior Andre Mailing started on the mound for Groves and pitched one inning and then Noah Zacharias pitched the final four innings.

The team’s six seniors were honored between games. Bralen Dennis, Brendan Doll, Andre Mailing, Leo Dudas, Joe Roberts and Doug Roche are all in their last season as Royal Oak faces Southfield-Lathrup this week to settle the tie atop the OAA Gold. Groves plays Birmingham Seaholm where the Falcons will host a doubleheader on Monday and travel to Seaholm Wednesday.

Last Updated: 5/14/2016 6:53:20 PM EST

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