2022 MHSAA Tournament: Division 2 State final - Forest Hills Eastern vs Grand Rapids Christian


Bruce Hefflinger and Dylan Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer and Editor in Chief/Scout

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2022 MHSAA Tournament: Division 2 State final - Forest Hills Eastern vs Grand Rapids Christian

EAST LANSING - Evan Parks tossed a one-hitter to lead Forest Hills Eastern to a 3-0 win over Grand Rapids Christian in the Division 2 state championship game on Saturday. It marks the first state crown in history for Eastern.

Parks took a no-hitter into the sixth before a Nathan Hedlund single for the first and only base hit of the game for Grand Rapids Christian.

The top-ranked team in Michigan in Division 2 lived up to the billing, scoring one run in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings and that was more than enough with Parks on the mound.

A Caleb Kuiper two-out single and an RBI double to right by Parks gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead and Eastern doubled it an inning later on a Max Ferrick run-scoring ground ball out following a single by Mac DenBraber and double by Brian Messing.

Bowling Green commit Leo Hearn had an RBI single in the fifth for the final run of the game for Forest Hills Eastern, which ends the season with a 39-4 record after defeating the 14th-rated D-2 team in the state.

HOT TAKES

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Parks nearly had a no-hitter if not for a slow roller down the third-base line by Hedlund in the bottom of the sixth to break up the potential masterpiece. Parks fanned three and walked one, not permitting a Grand Rapids Christian player to reach third base. A 4-6-3 double play grounder closed out the game for Parks, who also was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate.

DIVISION 2 CO-MVPS: With five hits and three RBIs in the two games played to go along with the no-hitter, it is difficult not to make Parks the tournament MVP for D-2. But the Butler commit will have to share the accolades with Messing, who finished 4-for-4 with two doubles along with a walk and sacrifice in six plate appearances in the two wins. The Eastern senior, the 30th-rated 2022 third baseman in the state, also scored a pair of runs and drove in one in the two Final Four wins.

LINESCORE

Forest Hills Eastern        001  110  0  -  3  10  1
Grand Rapids Christian  000  000  0  -  0  1  2

Records: Forest Hills Eastern 39-4, Grand Rapids Christian 27-9.

Winning Pitcher: Evan Parks (7 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 9 strikeouts, 3 walks).

Losing Pitcher: Camden Smith (7 innings, 3 runs, 10 hits, 2 strikeouts, 0 walks).

Leading Hitters: (Forest Hills Eastern) - Caleb Kuiper single, run; Evan Parks 2 singles, double, RBI; Jacob Pallo single; Leo Hearn single, RBI; MacDenBraber 2 singles, run; Brian Messing single, double; Max Ferrick RBI; Walker Brockie run. (Grand Rapids Christian) - Nathan Hedlund single.

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