WATCH: Diving Catch Highlights FH Eastern’s Title Win
Forest Hills Eastern earned their first ever state high school baseball state title Saturday, and a defensive gem helped them get it.
Eastern Shut Out GR Christian 3-0 In An All Grand Rapids Championship Game
The Forest Hills Eastern Hawks won the State Division 2 title early Saturday by whitewashing Grand Rapids Christian, 3-0.
For the second game in a row, an Eastern pitcher took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, as the Hawks posted their second straight shutout to earn the trophy Saturday morning at McLane Stadium on the campus of Michigan State. Evan Park was the one throwing zeroes this time, following Jacob Pallo's gem last Thursday.
Park, who wound up giving up only one hit, also went three-for-three from the plate and drove in a run as Eastern finished the season with a 39-4 record.
"With him on the mound, him at the plate, him in the field, we always feel very, very comfortable," Hawks coach Ian Hearn told the MHSAA's Second Half web site. "Our motto all year has been 'Team,' be servants for one another and serve one another."
It Was A Diving Catch That Thrilled The Fans
Park's heroics aside, it was a diving, laying out catch by Hawks center fielder Collin Fridsma that earned a standing "O" from the Eastern fans. The grab prevented a run from scoring, preserving Park's shut out, and cementing the win.
Parks double to right field opened the scoring for Eastern in the third. The Hawks added single runs in the fourth and fifth, but they really weren't needed as Parks kept the Eagles in check, thanks to plays like the one by Fridsma.
“There is no way to describe it,” Parks said of his reaction to the final out. “It means all the world when you see the ball down, your defense is playing for you. It means all the world when you see the play finally finish, and it's done.”
"It's like being on a whole different planet right now," Leo Hearn told FOX 17 News. Hearn had a special Father's Day weekend moment in winning the title, as his dad, Ian, is the team's head coach.
For their weekend pitch heroics, Pallo and Parks were both named to the Division 2 All-State team following the tournament. Christian infielder Kyle Remington and out fielder Jackson Isaacs also made the honor squad, along with East Grand Rapids outfielder Nick Collins.