Hudsonville players celebrate with the championship trophy after their 9-6 win over Warren De La Salle in the Div. 1 baseball final in Battle Creek on June 16, 2012. / Julian H. Gonzalez / DFP
BATTLE CREEK (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Hudsonville managed to find a way to score nine runs on only six hits.
Warren De La Salle helped a bit.
Hudsonville combined some clutch hitting with timely pitching to capture the Division 1 state championship Saturday with a 9-6 victory over De La Salle.
Half of Hudsonville's hits came in the third inning, which was capped by Tyler Baar's three-run home run.
"It was the biggest one of my life," said Baar. "It is indescribable. There was mad adrenalin flowing through me. I was looking for a fastball and that's what I got."
Baar's blast gave Hudsonville (33-5) a 4-2 lead, but De La Salle (20-23-1) and it's never-say-die attitude quickly tied the game and forced Baar from the mound.
"It was very frustrating," Baar said, "but that's what you want in a state championship -- the best game."
A total of eight errors -- five by De La Salle -- prohibited it from being a classic, but Hudsonville did enough in every area to win the title.
Relieving Barr, a senior who will play at Toledo, in the third was his sophomore brother, Keegan, who pitched well for 3 1/3 innings.
"I was a little bit nervous," Keegan said. "It was a big game. I usually start, but I was ready for today. My brother told me: 'Throw strikes, let us make the plays and we'll be alright in the end.'."
The Eagles put the game away in the sixth inning when Logan Magsig's two-run double was the only hit in the four-run inning.
"My double kind of allowed us to step on their throat," Magsig said.
Magsig, another sophomore, moved to the mound after De La Salle scored two runs in the sixth and retired the final four hitters to earn the save.
"It was pretty tough out there," Magsig said. "Looking at the state championship, there was a lot of pressure out there. I was pretty nervous, but a three-run lead was nice to have."
Even better to have was a cohesive team where the sophomores felt as important as the seniors.
"This team, we knew had the talent, but in sports it's more than talent," said Hudsonville coach Dave Van Noord. "You have to play together and people have to sacrifice and people have to give themselves up for the team. I'm not sure we had that at the beginning of the year like we had it at the end of the year. I think that's something our kids really did down the stretch."
BY MICK MCCABE/DETROIT FREE PRESS