Muskegon CC claims first title in Division 4, holds off Centreville, 10-8
East Lansing – When it came down to the end, Muskegon Catholic Central was going to ride the arm of Nick Holt.
While Centreville was in the middle of a potential comeback in the seventh inning, scoring three runs to cut the deficit down to two, there was little doubt on the Crusader’s side that Holt would finish the job.
And the senior, who worked his way in and out of trouble all day, would get out of one final jam as he induced a groundout to second base to seal 10-8 win over Centreville to give Muskegon Catholic Central its first Division 4 title.
Holt said that while it seemed like Centreville may have had his number early on in Saturday’s game, a switch to allow himself and catcher Jacob Holt helped keep opposing off balance later in the game, even in the final inning where the Bulldogs plated three runs.
“I think for the first five innings, they had our signs,” he said. “After the fifth inning, we decided to let me and Jacob (Holt) call the pitches and we started getting more off balance swings, but they still got a whole bunch of hits in that last inning. It was just a bunch of tweeners, a couple of bobbles, it was their game to take and Zach made the best play I’ve ever seen.”
With Holt returning to the mound in the top of the seventh inning with a 10-5 lead, Centreville made one last push as the Bulldogs would get a two RBI single from Coletin Gasho to cut the deficit down to 10-7.
Michael Kool would deliver a two out RBI single to cut the deficit down to 10-8, but a groundball to Zach Huston, who made a nice stop and throw over to first to seal the win for the Crusaders.
Jacob Holt said the experience on this year’s team, it was easy for he and his teammates to stay calm down the stretch, which was important as Centreville continued to put more pressure on the Crusaders.
“We have a lot of seniors on this team and we’ve been through a lot of things,” he said. “So we knew with our experience that we needed to cool it down, it doesn’t matter what they do, with all of the hits they had in the last inning, we still knew we had to stay calm.”
The key hit for the Crusaders came in the sixth inning, when Cole Charlesworth came up with what turned out to be the game-winning hit, a two-RBI single that would put Muskegon Catholic Central on top, 10-5 entering the seventh inning.
Nick Holt would allow 17 hits on the afternoon and would still manage to get the win as he picked up timely outs throughout the contest and plenty of run support.
Early on in the game, Muskegon Catholic Central would fall behind in the first and third innings, but when it came to the bottom half of each inning, the Crusaders would have an answer as they took a 5-3 lead into the fourth inning.
Muskegon Catholic Central coach Steve Schuitema said that getting those big answers in the bottom half of the first and third innings was key for his team as the Crusaders wanted to stay out in the lead, with Centreville ace, Kool, available for three innings of work.
“It was huge,” he said. “Because I know what they (Centreville) are thinking over there, they’re trying to run a four inning game and have their stud come in, because they had him available for nine outs. I know that they’re thinking if we’re ahead through four, we’ve got this baby, because we’ve got our horse, so for us to come back right away was huge.”
One of those key early hits came from Jacob Holt in the first inning with Muskegon Catholic Central trailing 2-0, as he roped a line drive down the first base line to score two runs and tie the game up at 2-2 early on.