Niles defeats Holland Christian to advance to the Division 2 Regional title game

Published 6:40 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2024

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HOLLAND — Clinging to a one-run lead heading to the seventh inning, Niles scored three times and then held off host Holland Christian in the bottom half of the frame to defeat the Maroons 5-1 in the Division 2 Baseball Regional semifinals Wednesday.

The win sends the Vikings Kalamazoo College Saturday for the regional championship game against the winner of the Grand Rapids Christian and Wayland semifinal. The regional champion will then advance to the state quarterfinals Saturday afternoon.

Leading 2-1, Niles scored three times after the Maroons had recorded the first two outs of the inning.

Braylon Schultz singled, stole second and scored on a single by Alex Cole, who advanced to second on the throw. Cole came around to score on a double by Brenden Olsen to make it 4-1.

Acie Kirtdoll drove in the fifth and final run with a single.

Niles (24-8) got solid pitching from starter Jax Racht and reliever Josh McIntyre, while it played flawless defense behind them.

Racht worked six and a third innings, allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts. McIntyre recorded the final two outs, giving up a hit and striking out a pair.

The Vikings had eight hits off a pair of Holland Christian pitchers.

Schultz was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Kirtdoll 2-for-4 with an RBI.



Division 2 Regional Semifinals

At Holland

Niles                      000         011         3 – 5 8 0

Christian             000         001         0 – 1 4 1

Jax Racht (W), Josh McIntyre (7); K. Smith (L), J. Holcomb (6)

2B: Brenden Olsen (N), E. Boyce (HC)

Record: Niles 24-8