Grand Ledge vs. Portland – – Diamond Classic Baseball Quarterfinal – – The Bleacher Denizen – – May 25, 2003 – – by Chuck Krafft
In tonight’s Diamond Classic Quarterfinals, the second game will feature the Comets from Grand Ledge competing with the Raiders from Portland. Your Bleacher Denizen is hoping that he has enough stamina to do both games and hopefully he is not “Too Old to Cut the Mustard” as he is in this You Tube Video from my You Tube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6GOgZAHqxI
Here is the play by play of the first game between Okemos and DeWitt! https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2023/05/26/okemos-vs-dewitt-diamond-classic-quarterfinal-the-bleacher-denizen-may-25-2023-by-chuck-krafft/
This game had a unique start to it. Because Portland’s senior graduation is tonight, Portland’s players had to deal with a conflict. Portland High resolved this by having Athletic Director Kevin Veale give out diplomas to five players, Brady Krause, Brycen DeShane, Marc Nobis, Carson Martin and Valedictorian Isaiah Pelc. John Dodson chose to graduate with the rest of his class at the high school. The silver-tongued Ken Friend did a great job emceeing the ceremony. This is only the second time that diplomas were given out at the Diamond Classic!
Of course, Ken Friend is going to lend his considerable talent to announcing the game! Colton Wesley will also be announcing the game for the Lansing Herald on the internet!
It’s getting really chilly as the sun is starting to go down; it has been cold for a couple days now. Hopefully my Bleacher Denizen sweater and spring jacket will do what I need to stay at least somewhat warm!!
Grand Ledge will be the home team and Portland will bat first.
Here are the starting lineups.
Caden Thelen cf
Marc Nobis p
Evan Thelen ss
Marky Meyers c
Barret Brennan rf
Brody Moore 2b
Gunner Williams 3b
Carson Martin 1b
Brady Krause lf
GRAND LEDGE COMETS:
Noah McCartney cf
Preston Bohnet 2b
Caleb Estrada ss
Andrew Konieczny 1b
Alex Cornman lf
Bryce Boucher c
Kyle Smith 3b
Andrew Deibel dh
Carter Melnik p
Aiden O’Keefe will play right field, but will not bat.
Caden Thelen led off the top of the first inning for Portland with a walk. Comet Pitcher Carter Melnik retired the next batter on a fly to the second baseman. Evan Thelen beat out an infield single and Caden Thelen took second base. Marky Meyers belted a triple to deep center field to drive Caden Thelen and Evan Thelen home. Comet Pitcher Carter Melnik retired the next two hitters on a foul popup to the catcher and a strikeout.
Portland scored two runs in the top of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead.
Raider Pitcher Marc Nobis retired all three Comet hitters in the first inning on a fly to right field, a grounder to third base and a fly to left field where Brady Krause made a fine running catch.
Gunner Williams walked to lead off the top of the second inning for the Raiders. He went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Carson Martin. Comet Pitcher Carter Melnik struck out the next batter and got the third out on a grounder to first base.
Marc Nobis struck out the Grand Ledge leadoff batter in the bottom of the second inning. Alex Cornman rapped a double to the right field wall. Jameson Patten entered the game as a pinch runner for Alex Cornman. Bryce Boucher walked and Kyle Smith walked to load the bases. Andrew Deibel doubled to right field to drive in Jameson Patten and Kyle Smith.
Carter Melnik tripled off the right field wall to drive in Kyle Smith and Andrew Deibel. Noah McCartney was safe on a fielder’s choice grounder to the pitcher. Carter Melnik did a great job of keeping a rundown going for a long time before he was finally tagged. Noah McCartney made it all the way to third base on the play. Preston Bohnet pulverized a double to deep center field to drive in Noah McCartney.
Preston Bohnet advanced to third base on a passed ball. Caleb Estrada blasted a home run over the left field fence to drive himself and Preston Bohnet home.
Andrew Konieczny lined a single to right field. Alex Cornman singled to left field and Andrew Konieczny went to second base. Marc Nobis struck out the next Comet batter to end the inning.
Grand Ledge scored seven runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 7-2 lead.
Marc Nobis lined a single to center field to open the top of the third inning for Portland. Evan Thelen walked and Marc Nobis advanced to second base. Marky Meyers was safe at first base on a fielder’s choice grounder to second base and Evan Thelen out at second. Marc Nobis took third base on the play. The next hitter hit a grounder to Comet Second Baseman Preston Bohnet, who flipped the ball to Shortstop Caleb Estrada, who fired the ball to First Baseman Andrew Konieczny to complete a nice double play to end the inning.
Paul Roberts came in to pitch for Portland.
Paul Roberts struck out the Comet hitter to open the bottom of the third inning. He retired the next batter on a fly to right field. Carter Melnik singled. Kaiden Sobczyk entered the game as a courtesy runner for Carter Melnik. Kaiden Sobczyk stole second base. Paul Roberts retired the next hitter on a fly to right field to end the inning.
Brady Moore and Gunner Williams walked to lead off the top of the fourth inning for Portland. Carter Melnik struck out the next two Raider batters. Caden Thelen doubled to center field to drive in Brady Moore. Gunner Williams advanced to third base on the play. Marc Nobis singled to right field and drove in Gunner Williams and Caden Thelen.
Andrew Deibel entered the game to pitch for Grand Ledge. He retired the next batter on an unassisted fielder’s choice grounder to the shortstop.
Portland scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning to cut the Grand Ledge lead to 7-5.
Evan Thelen took over the pitching duties for the Raiders. Brady Krause moved to third base and Gunner Williams took over at shortstop.
Evan Thelen retired the first two Comet hitters in the bottom of the fourth inning on a grounder to shortstop and a fly to left field. Andrew Konieczny beat out an infield single and went to second base on a walk to Alex Cornman. Nick Finney went in to pinch run for Andrew Konieczny at second base. Evan Thelen struck out the next hitter to end the inning.
Andrew Deibel retired the three Portland batters in the fifth inning on a strikeout, a grounder to third base where Andrew Konieczny made a great stretch at first base to secure the out and a grounder to first base.
Grand Ledge’s leadoff batter made the first out of the bottom of the fifth inning on a fly to left field. Andrew Deibel walked and Kaiden Sobczyk entered the game as a courtesy runner for him. Kaiden Sobczyk stole second base. Raider Right Fielder Barret Brennan made a diving catch to record the second out. Noah McCartney drew a walk. Caden Thelen retired the next Comet batter on a foul popup to first base to end the inning.
After five full innings, the Grand Ledge lead remained at 7-5.
Andrew Deibel retired Portland’s leadoff batter in the top of the sixth inning on a grounder to the mound. Tyler Smith was hit by a pitch. Andrew Deibel got the next two batters out on a fly to center field and a strikeout to end the inning.
Things have gotten from “chilly” to “Oh my God, it’s COLD!” since the start of the game. Many spectators who are not writing blogs went back to their warm cars. However as there were no polar bears or aggressive walruses on leave from the North Pole present, I decided to persevere and stay. I guess if you are reading this article, you will know that I made it through (although I checked my hair for icicles before I got in my car to go home.)
Marc Nobis went back to the mound to pitch for Portland.
Caleb Estrada walked to start off the bottom of the sixth inning for Grand Ledge and stole second base. Caleb Estrada took third base on a groundout to first base by Andrew Konieczny. Alex Cornman singled up the middle to drive Caleb Estrada home. Alex Cornman went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Bryce Boucher. Kyle Smith singled to left field to drive Alex Cornman home. Mark Nobis retired the next hitter on a grounder to second base for the third out.
Grand Ledge scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to extend its lead to 9-5.
Caleb Estrada entered the game to pitch for the Comets. Preston Bohnet moved to Shortstop and Kaiden Sobczyk came in to play second base.
Evan Thelen walked to lead off the top of the seventh inning for the Raiders. Caleb Estrada struck out the next batter. Barret Brennan and then Brody Moore walked to load the bases. After two wild pitches, Evan Thelen and Barret Brennan scored as Brody Moore went to third base.
Gunner Williams got his third walk of the game. Brody Moore scored and Gunner Williams took second base on a wild pitch. Caleb Estrada struck out the next Raider hitter. Brady Krause walked. Caleb Estrada struck out the next batter to end the game.
Portland scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to slash the Grand Ledge lead to 9-8, but Grand Ledge held on to win the game. The Comets will play the Redwings from St. Johns in the quarterfinal at Michigan State’s baseball stadium on Wednesday May 31.
Marky Meyers had a triple and two RBI for Portland. Marc Nobis had two singles and two RBI. Caden Thelen had a double and one RBI. Evan Thelen had a single.
Paul Roberts pitched one shutout inning and Evan Thelen pitched two shutout innings for Portland.
Caleb Estrada had a home run and two RBI for Grand Ledge. Alex Cornman had a double, two singles and one RBI. Carter Melnick had a triple, one single and two RBI. Andrew Deibel had a double and two RBI. Preston Bohnet had a double and one RBI. Andrew Konieczny had two singles. Kyle Smith had a single and one RBI.
Andrew Deibel had the Comets’ best pitching performance of the night as he pitched two and one thirds innings giving up no runs or hits while striking out two batters.