Okemos vs. DeWitt – – Diamond Classic Quarterfinal – – The Bleacher Denizen – – May 25, 2023 – – by Chuck Krafft
You never know where the Red River Valley might lead you, as I let listeners know in this video from my You Tube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w03AhhNk1M8
One place it does not lead to is Municipal Park, where today’s Diamond Classic Quarterfinal games are being held. Fortunately for us all, Kalamazoo Street DOES lead here, so your Bleacher Denizen will be able to cover the games!
In tonight’s quarterfinal game, the Okemos Wolves will play against the DeWitt Panthers.
We will be blessed to have Ken Friend, he of the dulcet tones, doing the announcing as professionally as it can be done. Also, Colton Wesley, from the Lansing Herald will be doing an online audio report as well. Your Bleacher Denizen had better be accurate as possible!!
DeWitt will be the home team and Okemos will bat first.
Here are the starting lineups:
Andrew Golde 2b
Caleb Bonemer ss
Brennan Walton p
Colin Walton 3b
Beckett Hansen-Kotke dh
Garret Rizzi lf
Ray Smith 1b
Nik Greborunis cf
Dominic Eastman rf
Mitchell McGaugh will catch, but will not bat.
Brandon Beckner cf
A.J. Alicea 1b
Ruston Whitten c
Nick Weiss 3b
Brandon Troy rf
Abram Larner lf
Ryder Thompson 2b
Sam Leonard ss
Zach Nevison p
It is now time to review the results of this game through the occasionally open eyes of an Aging Bleacher Denizen who will always fondly remember the only fair ball that he hit in Little League. (Yes, it really DID happen once! The moment as the ball bounced slowly to the shortstop as I ran to first base even more slowly will always be prominent in my memory!!)
Andrew Golde led off the top of the first inning by beating out a squib near home plate and advanced to second base on an overthrow. The next hitter was out on a grounder to third base. Brennan Walton singled to right field to drive in Andrew Golde. Colin Walton singled to left field and Brennan Walton advanced to second base. Beckett Hansen-Kotke walked to load the bases.
Garret Rizzi lined out to Panther third baseman Nick Weiss, who quickly stepped on third base to complete a double play.
Okemos scored one run in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead.
Brandon Beckner led off the bottom of the first inning for Okemos by beating out a chopped squibber near the plate for a single and went to second base on a balk. A.J. Alicea rifled a single down the right field line to drive Brandon Beckner home. Okemos Pitcher Brennan Walton struck out the next two DeWitt batters. A.J. Alicea stole second base. Brennan Walton struck out the next Panther hitter to end the inning.
DeWitt scored one run in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game at 1-1.
Ray Smith led off the top of the second inning with a line drive single to right field. Nik Greborunis was safe at first and Ray Smith out at second on a fielder’s choice grounder to third base. DeWitt Pitcher Zach Nevison retired the next Okemos batter on a fly to center field. Nik Greborunis stole second base. DeWitt Center Fielder Brandon alertly backed up second base on an overthrow to keep the runner from advancing to third base.
Andrew Golde singled to drive in Nik Greborunis. Caleb Bonemer doubled to move Andrew Golde to third base. Zach Nevison retired the next Wolve batter on a grounder to second base to end the inning.
Okemos scored one run in the top of the second inning to go into a 2-1 lead.
Okemos Pitcher Brennan Walton retired all three DeWitt hitters in the second inning on a fly to right field, a fly to center field where Nik Greborunis made an excellent running catch and a slow roller to shortstop Caleb Bonemer, who quickly threw to first baseman Ray Smith, who made an excellent grab to prevent an error.
Panther Pitcher Zach Nevison struck out the Wolve leadoff batter in the top of the third inning. Beckett Hansen-Kotke was safe at first base on an error and took second base on a groundout to first base by Garret Rizzi. Zach Nevison retired the next hitter on a grounder to first base to end the inning.
Brennan Walton retired the Panther leadoff hitter in the bottom of the fourth inning on a fly to center field. Dominic Eastman made a great running catch of a foul fly to right field to record the second Panther out. A.J. Alicea drew a walk. DeWitt made its third out of the inning on a popup to second base.
Zach Nevison retired the three Okemos batters in the fourth inning on a great running catch by Left Fielder Abram Larner, a long fly to center field that Brandon Beckner went way back near the fence to catch and a grounder where Shortstop Sam Leonard made a fine play to stop a ball going into center field and threw to first in time to get the runner.
Nick Weiss led off the bottom of the fourth inning for DeWitt with a single. Brennan Walton retired the next Panther batter on a popup to second base. The next batter hit the ball to Okemos Second Baseman Andrew Golde, who threw to Shortstop Caleb Bonemer to force the runner at second base; Caleb Bonemer threw to First Baseman Ray Smith to complete the double play.
With four innings in the books, the Okemos lead remained at 2-1.
Zach Nevison retired the Okemos leadoff batter in the top of the fifth inning on a grounder to third base. Brennan Walton drew a walk. Alex Comparoni came in as a courtesy runner for Brennan Walton. Colin Walton hit a double to deep center field to move Alex Comparoni to third base. The next Okemos hitter was out on a grounder to Third Baseman Sam Leonard, who held the runner at third base before throwing to first base to record the second out of the inning.
Garret Rizzi singled up the middle to drive Alex Comparoni and Colin Walton home. Ray Smith doubled off the right-center field wall to drive in Garret Rizzi. Ray Smith scored when Nick Greborunis was safe at second base on an error. Dominic Eastman singled down the left field line to drive Nick Greborunis home.
Garret Grewe came in to pitch for DeWitt. After Dominic Eastman took second base on a passed ball, Garret Grewe struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Okemos scored five runs in the top of the fifth inning to push its lead to 7-1.
Ryder Thompson singled to right field to open the bottom of the fifth inning for the Panthers. Andrew Golde came in to pitch for Okemos. Brennan Walton moved to third base and Colin Walton took over at second base.
Andrew Golde struck out the next Panther hitter and got the next two outs on grounders to the shortstop to end the inning while holding DeWitt scoreless.
Caleb Bonemer led off the top of the sixth inning for Okemos with a single to left field. When he tried to stretch it into a double, Panther Left Fielder Abram Larner made a fine throw to get him out at second base. Garret Grewe retired the next two hitters on a grounder to second base and a strikeout.
Caleb Bonemer came in to pitch for Okemos. Andrew Golde moved to shortstop.
Okemos Pitcher Caleb Bonemer retired the Panther leadoff batter in the bottom of the sixth inning on a fly to third base. Andrew Golde made an excellent grab of a liner by Ruston Whitten to record the second out. Nick Weiss was safe at first base on an error. Okemos First Baseman Ray Smith was injured on the play and Colby Degan came in to replace him. Caleb Bonemer struck out the next batter to end the inning.
After six full innings, the Okemos lead was still at 7-1.
Beckett Hansen-Kotke singled to right field to lead off the top of the seventh inning for Okemos. Sebastian Klus came in as a pinch runner for Beckett Hansen-Kotke. Garret Grewe retired the next Okemos hitter on a foul popup to first base. Sebastian Klus stole second base. Garret Grewe struck out the subsequent hitter. Nik Greborunis drew a walk. Okemos made its third out on a foul popup to the first baseman.
Caleb Bonemer retired the three DeWitt seventh inning hitters on a popup to first base, a groundout to first base and a strikeout.
Okemos won this game by a 7-1 score and will play Olivet in the semifinal game on Wednesday May 31.
A.J. Alicea had a single and one RBI for Okemos. Brandon Beckner, Nice Weiss and Zach Nevison each had a single.
Zach Nevison pitched the first four and two thirds innings for DeWitt. Garret Grewe pitched two and one third shutout innings.
Ray Smith had a double, a single and one RBI for Okemos. Colin Walton and Caleb Bonemer each had a double and a single. Andrew Golde had two singles and one RBI. Garret Rizzi had a single and two RBI. Brennan Walton and Dominic Eastman each had a single and one RBI. Beckett Hansen-Kotke had a single.
Brennan Walton pitched four innings for Okemos. He gave up one run and four hits while striking out three hitters. Andrew Golde pitched one shutout inning and struck out one batter. Caleb Bonemer pitched two shutout innings and struck out two batters.
Grand Ledge played Portland in the night’s second quarterfinal. Here is the play by play of that game!! https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2023/05/26/grand-ledge-vs-portland-diamond-classic-baseball-quarterfinal-the-bleacher-denizen-may-25-2003-by-chuck-krafft/