Trojan Baseball, Track and Field Continue Postseason Quest

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Friday, May 31, 2019, 11:17 am
Mark Meyer

Senior Sam Waters brings a .311 batting average into Saturday's district semifinal game against Waverly. First pitch is slated for 10 a.m. at the Home of the Trojans field next to MacDonald Middle School.

The East Lansing High School baseball team begins Division 1 postseason play at 10 a.m. at home Saturday against Waverly in a district semifinal game.

Okemos will face Grand Ledge in the other semifinal at noon; the semifinal winners will meet in the district title game, which is slated to begin at 2 p.m.

East Lansing enters Saturday’s game with a 17-15-2 record. Sophomore catcher Will Knapp (.431 batting average), junior infielder-pitcher Aiden Rudy (.405, 27 runs batted in) and junior first baseman-pitcher Sam Busch (.394, 10 home runs, 31 RBI) lead the Trojans in hitting.

Rudy leads the team in innings pitched (33.2) and strikeouts (37). Sophomore right-hander Ethan Cullen is 4-0 with a 1.97 earned run average, tops on the team among the regular rotation.

Waverly enters Saturday’s game with a 15-18-1 record. Grand Ledge, which has advanced to the finals of the Diamond Classic, is 22-5-1; Okemos is 16-9.

The winner of Saturday’s district championship will advance to the East Lansing Regional and meet the winner of the Battle Creek Lakeview district on Tuesday.

Track and field heads to East Kentwood for state finals

After a strong showing at the Greater Lansing Honor Roll Meet on Tuesday, the Trojan track and field team will try to bring home some medals Saturday in the Division 1 state meet at East Kentwood.

The Trojans will be represented by two relays – the boys 400 (4x100) and 800 (4x200) – and five individuals: senior AJ Kirkland (long jump), junior Andrew Lane (3,200 meter run), and sophomores Allan Brown (400 meter dash), Nathan Faust (1,600 meter run) and Abbie Draheim (1,600 meter run).

Draheim is the lone state qualifier from the Trojan girls team.

Coach Pat Murray was very encouraged by what he saw on the track Tuesday at Ralph Young Field, but he also knows that his runners will be challenged to deliver their very best efforts this weekend.

“Our relays are running well right now,” Murray said, “and they’re coming into the state meet in good form. Can they lower their splits on Saturday? It’s going to be tough but they’ve shown an ability to perform at a high level when pushed.”

The 400 relay (Alex Hosey, Kobe Hayward, Judd Pfeiffer and Kirkland) is seeded 13th, the 800 relay (Hosey, Hayward, Brown and Conner Long) is seeded 14th.

Kirkland is seeded sixth in the long jump. His best jump of the year – 22 feet – is eight inches shy of the top seed, Jehkota Tierney of Northville.

“The long jump is one of those events that, if AJ pops a good one, he could be right up there,” Murray said. “He’s had a very good year to this point; a big effort Saturday could make it a great year.”










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