BRIDGMAN — Bridgman and Coloma both had chances at an unbeaten day in Saturday’s Bridgman baseball round-robin, but had to settle for splits.
Bridgman used a seventh-inning rally to defeat Coloma 2-1 in the opener. The Comets went on to defeat Comstock 17-2 in the second game, taking advantage of 19 walks. Comstock rebounded in the final game with a 3-2 win over Bridgman, which stranded eight runners.
Ethan Price led Coloma (4-5) in the opener with a strong pitching performance, striking out eight over 6 1/3 innings.
The Comets led 1-0 entering the seventh. Price gave up singles to Nate Necas and Jayce Warren, and then reached his pitch count limit and was replaced by Jake Ickes.
Errors allowed both inherited runners to score and gave the Bees the victory.
“Their best pitcher ran out of pitches,” Bridgman coach Justin Hahaj said. “We were lucky enough to get a couple guys on base and take advantage of a few mistakes by Coloma.”
Donnie Necas picked up the pitching win in relief for Bridgman (5-2) after recording just one out. Henry Branch did most of the pitching for the Bees, walking eight batters in 6 2/3 innings but allowing just one hit.
“It was a game that neither team had a ton of hits,” Coloma coach Kevin VanPeteghem said. “It was well-pitched by both sides.
“Four out of our five losses have been one run, three of the five were where we got walked off. In the last inning they got us. They’ve been some tough losses, but the guys are resilient and we’re playing with some good people. Bridgman’s a good squad, very fundamental.”
Comstock (5-2) struggled with its pitching against Coloma. The Colts used four different pitchers, and walked nine straight batters in the fourth, leading to the mercy-rule finish.
“We threw some new guys out there,” Comstock coach Kevin Phelps said. “We have a little bit that we’ve got to work on, just hitting the zone.”
Ethan Vandermolen got the win for Coloma. The freshman threw four innings, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out two.
“He pitched well for us, threw strikes,” VanPeteghem said. “The Comstock team could hit a little bit, so he did a nice job against them, mixing up his pitches which is something we wanted him to work on as a young pitcher. He’s been kind of just throwing fastballs and he threw his curveball well today, so that was good to see. That was a real positive from that game.”
Bridgman had chances against Comstock, but left the bases loaded in the first inning and two runners on in the second and fourth. The Bees were hurt by 12 fly outs.
Warren took the loss despite throwing five innings and striking out six.
“I’m always happy when we can hold teams under four,” Hahaj said. “That’s kind of the goal in high school baseball is to keep the score as low as possible. We didn’t come through when we had runners in scoring position.”
Griffin Weber was Bridgman’s top hitter with a single and two doubles on the day.
Tanner Clements got the win for Comstock, throwing six innings. Sage DeCamp pitched the final inning to earn the save and also had what proved to be the game-winning hit, an RBI single in the fifth.
“We had a lot of guys step up in key situations,” Phelps said. “We came through with some big hits and some big outs in the field. It definitely was better than the first game.”
Bridgman 2, Coloma 1
Coloma 000 010 0 — 1 1 3
Bridgman 000 000 2 — 2 6 3
WP — Donnie Necas. LP — Ethan Price 8k.
Top hitters — Coloma: Dylan Nelson 1b. Bridgman: Griffin Weber 2b; Donnie Necas 1b, RBI.
Coloma 17, Comstock 2
Comstock 002 0 — 2 4 0
Coloma 216 8 — 17 5 0
WP — Ethan Vandermolen. LP — Colin Fletter.
Top hitters — Comstock: TJ Reilly 1b, 2 RBIs; Brandon Willis 2 1b. Coloma: Vandermolen 1b, 2 RBIs; Ethan Price 1b, 2 RBIs; Hunter Crist 3 RBIs.
Comstock 3, Bridgman 2
Bridgman 000 110 0 — 2 6 1
Comstock 020 010 x — 3 8 4
WP — Tanner Clements. LP — Jayce Warren 6k. S — Sage DeCamp.
Top hitters — Bridgman: Warren 2 1b, RBI; Griffin Weber 1b, 2b. Comstock: Kendall 2 1b.
Records — Bridgman 5-2, Comstock 5-2, Coloma 4-5.
Contact: bsanders@TheHP.com, 932-0366, @HPBenSanders