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De Pere bats too much for Bay Port in FRCC action

By Murray Gleffe

SUAMICO –The De Pere baseball team had its bats going against Bay Port May 2.

The Redbirds hit three home runs en route to an 8-3 Fox River Classic Conference road victory at Bay Port High School.

“Any time you jump out on a great program, it’s big,” De Pere Head Coach Bob Van Rens said. “The three home runs early gave us confidence throughout the game. (Bay Port) has had our number in the past. It was a total team effort.”

The Redbirds started their onslaught in the top of the first inning.

After a groundout and strikeout, Quinn Falish opened the scoring with a blast over the left-field fence for a 1-0 lead.

Javin Gauthier followed with a triple that hit the center-field padding.

Back-to-back singles by Ethan Hoops and Luke Brosig scored Gauthier for a 2-0 lead.

Moments later, Bryan Gerbers sent a three-run homer 360 feet to give the Redbirds a 5-0 advantage.

Starting Bay Port pitcher Cole Bensen lasted only 2/3 of an inning as Head Coach Harvey Knutson handed the ball off to Hayden Groff.

“We’ve faced some tough pitchers of late,” Van Rens said. “We were ready to hit the ball.”

In the bottom half of the first inning, Cal Casper scored for Bay Port to cut the lead to 5-1 after one.

The Redbirds weren’t done with the long ball.

In the top of the second inning, De Pere catcher Garrett Foth took a 2-2 count and homered to left to put the Redbirds up 6-1.

After two innings, the pitching and defense settled in.

In the top of the third inning, Bay Port centerfielder John Nickel made a nice diving catch with two out and one on to end the inning and prevent further damage.

In the top of the sixth inning, Brosig corralled two RBI for his single that scored Bryson Webb and Mason Stecker for an 8-1 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Falish gave way to Easton Arendt after pitching 6 1/3 innings.

“I was proud of the middle innings (Falish) pitched,” Van Rens said. “He had a stretch where he threw 19 strikes and two balls.”

Two runs scored by Austin Holton and Craig Kabat via the walk with bases loaded brought Bay Port within 8-3.

However, Arendt slammed the door on any Pirates’ comeback with a strikeout to end the game.

“You’re never comfortable at their place,” Van Rens said. “Fortunately, we had some runs in our back pocket to play with in the final inning. The top of the conference is separated by only a game or two. I like our chemistry, but we must keep sticking together moving forward.”

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