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Whitehall puts it all together in capturing district baseball title

Vikings top Big Rapids in semifinals and Ludington in finals for first district championship since 2017.

Photos courtesy of Carrie Goodrich

All season, Whitehall’s baseball team has been looking to add to the trophy case.

Saturday’s Division 2 district at Big Rapids presented a golden opportunity for the Vikings and they delivered.

With solid pitching and timely hitting, Whitehall put it all together in defeating district host Big Rapids 7-3 in the district semifinals and beating Ludington 6-4 in the finals. It’s the Vikings’ first district baseball title since 2017.

Whitehall (26-10) advances to Wednesday’s 4:30 p.m. regional semifinal at Oakridge, where the Vikings will take on Spring Lake (28-9).

Spring Lake defeated Coopersville 4-1 in its district title game Saturday. Whitehall defeated Spring Lake, 9-3, up in Traverse City on April 27.

In Saturday’s district semifinal against Big Rapids, the host team jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead but Whitehall responded with two runs in the second and two in the third to take control. The Vikings tacked on a run in the fifth and two more in the six before closing out the victory.

Senior right-hander Ryne Christensen scattered six hits and allowed three runs (two earned) with six strikeouts and two walks in a complete-game effort for Whitehall. Kyle Stratton and Noah Meinert had two hits apiece to pace the Vikings’ lineup. Meinert and Nate Betz both had doubles. Meinert drove in three runs and scored one.

Whitehall followed a similar script in the title game against Ludington, falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first before getting a run back in the bottom half of the inning.

Whitehall erupted for five runs in the second inning in what was the turning point in the game. Brock Morningstar and Myles Welch had two hits apiece to pace the Vikings, while Eli Winters doubled. Whitehall had seven stolen bases in the game.

Evan Thomas picked up the pitching win for Whitehall in relief of Morningstar, allowing two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks in five innings of work.

Keen Patterson took the loss for Ludington, allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits in 1 1/3 innings. Patterson, Evan McCarthy, and Walden had two hits apiece for the Orioles, who close the season with a 17-14 record. Walden, McCarthy, Patterson, and Gage Jones each had doubles in the title game.

In the other district semifinal, Ludington defeated Fremont, 8-0.

Whitehall’s baseball team poses with the trophy after defeating Ludington, 6-4, in a Division 2 district finals game Saturday, June 1, 2024, in Big Rapids, Mich. (Courtesy of Christian Subdon)

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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