GRCC’s baseball team is ending its season with a 24-11 record, following health and safety protocols.
The baseball team is tied for first place in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association’s Western Conference, but won’t play its final four games of the regular season and won’t qualify for the postseason.
“The health and safety of our players and our opponents is our top priority,” Interim Athletic Director David Selmon said. “Our team was playing very well and we’re proud of our student-athletes. But health comes first. This is unfortunate and disappointing, but it’s the right thing to do.”
The baseball team returned in 2021 with limited out-of-state travel and enhanced health and wellness protocols after the 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic.
After dropping the opener, the team won 10 consecutive games and emerged as a conference power.
Ryan Dykstra, Aaron West and Jake Paganelli shared the team lead with 3 homers, with West and Dykstra sharing the lead with 37 RBI.
Dykstra led the team with a .432 batting average, with West right behind at .398.
On the mound, Drew Murphy led starting pitchers with a sparkling 2.23 ERA and a spotless 6-0 record. He threw a three-hit, 12-strikeout game against Kalamazoo Valley on April 30. Garrett Cheslek posted a 6-3 record.
The team played a dramatic doubleheader against nationally ranked Kellogg Community College at LMCU Ballpark, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps, on April 16.
Playing before the largest crowd of the season in the ballpark’s first game since 2019, Colin Bradley took a no-hitter into the last inning, before KCC pushed runs across to take the lead. The second game found the Raiders trailing 5-0 before mounting a comeback, falling just short 6-5.
The team is optimistic about its chance for a strong 2022 season. All but two players had freshman eligibility for 2021 and could potentially return.