Posted by Warren Kent on Jun 25 2018 at 05:00PM PDT
2018 -- Warren Kent III (10-15 overall, 7-7 in West Michigan Conference; Oakridge Champs): For the fourth consecutive season, the Norse finished with a less-than-.500 record. The 25 games were the fewest the Norse program has played in a season since 2004, coach Kent’s first year with NM. The Norse had 11 games canceled because of the weather, forcing NM to play a lot of games at the end of the season in a short span of time. The two halves of the season are in sharp contrast.
  • In the first 12 regular-season games (April 12-May 8 – 27 days)
    7-5 record
    Pitchers struck out 83 and walked 34 while posting a 2.39 ERA
    Batters were 99-for-317 (.312) while striking out 60 times and walking 55 times 
  • In the final 13 games (May 14-June 2 – 11 games in nine days at one point)
    3-10 record
    Pitchers struck out 59 and walked 59 while posting 4.85 ERA
    Batters were 80-for-342 (.234) while striking out 77 times and walking 39 times 

The team was led by senior MVP Jimmy Cobb, who paced the team in most offensive categories. Jimmy, who played shortstop and center field mostly, batted a team-high .493 (36-for-73). That average is the ninth best in the history of NM baseball. His team-leading 20 stolen bases placed him at No. 10 on the all-time season list while his 36 career stolen bases moved him to No. 4 on the NM career list. He also led the team with 36 hits, nine doubles, two triples, one home run and 24 RBI. Jimmy also tied for the team lead with 22 runs. Jimmy also put together a 12-game hit streak early in the season, and that streak is the eighth best in school history. In the conference, Jimmy, who was a First Team All-Conference outfielder, batted .571 (24-for-42) to lead all WMC outfielders. Jimmy was also an All-District selection. Jimmy’s classroom work made him an All-Conference Scholar Athlete and an Academic All-District performer. While his fielding percentage may not have been the best on the team, Jimmy’s defense, mainly in centerfield, made him the easy selection for the 2018 Gold Glove Award winner. The five other seniors (Tommy Gautraud, Brett Huff, Matt Kraley, Ryan Kenny & Jared DeMint) saw significant playing time. Tommy, Brett and Matt joined Jimmy Cobb as seniors who played all 25 games. Tommy, who batted in the lead-off position, led the team with 76 at bats and tied for the team lead with 22 runs. Tommy was also recognized as an All-Conference Scholar Athlete and an Academic All-District performer. Brett, the team’s No. 1 catcher, was an All-Conference Scholar Athlete and an Academic All-District performer. Matt manned the first-base position and led the team with five hit by pitches. Additionally, Matt, who raised his batting average almost .200 points from 2017, was the most proficient No. 2 hitter for the Norse. For his improvement, Matt is selected as the 2018 Most Improved Player Award. Ryan was the team’s No. 2 pitcher, finishing 1-4 with 38 strikeouts in 40 ? innings and a 3.82 ERA. Jared played third base. For their senior leadership, Brett and Ryan also shared the K2 Coach’s Award, which honors former assistant coach Warren Kent Jr., who passed away in February of 2017. In addition to the award, both receive a $100 scholarship. Four juniors (Jesse Cooke, Brendan Gannon, Mack Young and Billy Lowe) saw varying degrees of success. Jesse, who played all 25 games, was the team’s No. 1 pitcher when he wasn’t playing shortstop. On the mound, he posted a 4-5 record while striking out 46 in 43 ? innings. He finished with a 2.26 ERA. Jesse was also an All-Conference selection at the at-large position. In the conference, Jesse was 3-3 on the mound with a 1.06 ERA; at the plate, he batted .326 (14-for-43). For his classroom work, Jesse was an All-Conference Scholar Athlete and an Academic All-District performer. Brendan, an outfielder, was the best bunter on the team, and Mack, the every-day second baseman, was solid defensively with a .906 fielding percentage. Billy, who played a little outfield, made his impact on the mound where he went 2-0 in 17 ? innings. Sophomore Brenden Moat saw action at all three outfield spots as well as on the mound, where his 2-5 record is misleading as he posted a 1.81 ERA while striking out 26 in 31 innings. Brenden was also an All-Conference Scholar Athlete. Sophomore Logan Richards and freshman Charlie Branch made it to varsity midway through the season. Logan posted a .306 batting average (11-for-36) while playing third base. Charlie, who batted .512 (22-for-43) missed qualifying for the batting title by two plate appearances. He also became just the second freshman under coach Kent to pick up a win on the mound when he gained the victory in relief over WMC. Additionally, he put his name in the record books with a 5-for-5 performance in the 13-11 win over Shelby. Those five hits tied a school record for hits in a game. Finally, sophomores Brett Galdeen, John Hayhurst and Avery Ramirez all had their first varsity hits as did freshman Alec Cutter.

Record Score Interesting Fact
1-0 *NM 5, Whitehall 1 Win breaks a 9-game losing streak in season openers; second game suspended
1-1 *Ravenna 4, NM 0 Only 4 hits; struck out 12 times; Jimmy Cobb two singles
1-2 *Ravenna 11, NM 6 NM commits 8 errors; Cobb double
1-3 Boyne City 10, NM 5 Ramblers scored 7 runs in top of 7th inning; 5 of those runs scored with 2 outs
1-4 Boyne City 20, NM 3 20th losing game in school history allowing opponent to score 20 runs
2-4 *NM 12, Hart 0 Freshman Charlie Branch makes varsity debut with 4 K's in two relief innings
3-4 *NM 17, Hart 1 NM has outscored Hart 339-41 in winning 24-of-25 games
4-4 NM 9, Montague 7   County; 9-0 lead after 3 ininngs; Jesse Cooke 9 K's in 5 2/3 innings
4-5 Muskegon CC 10, NM 4 County; only 2 of 10 MCC runs earned; MCC has won series' past 11 games
5-5 *NM 13, Mason CC 7 8 innings; MCC led 7-1 after 3 innings; Cobb's bases-clearing double in 8th
6-5 *NM 12, Mason CC 1 Brenden Moat wins both games of DH; Cobb bases-clearing double in 2nd
7-5 NM 3, WM Christian 2 Marsh Field; Branch becomes 2nd freshmen to win game in coach Kent era
7-6 WM Christian 5, NM 3 Marsh Field; NM only 3 hits; doubles by Branch & Cooke
7-7 *Montague 13, NM 2 Beginning of 9 games in 11 days; Only 4 hits; committed 7 errors; Cobb 2 singles
7-8 *Montague 5, NM 2 Only 5 hits; Cobb double
8-8 NM 10, Cedar Springs 9 Scored 4 runs in bottom of seventh; Billy Lowe first varsity win
8-9 Zeeland West 7, NM 4 Hope College; left 10 runners on base; both teams 5 hits; Cobb 2 singles, double
8-10 Zeeland West 12, NM 1 Hope College; outhit 16-4
8-11 *Oakridge 8, NM 1 Cooke only allowed 1 hit through 5 innings; only 6 hits; Cobb 3 hits with a triple
8-12 *Oakridge 7, NM 6 Eagles scored twice in bottom of 7th; winning run scored on squeeze bunt
8-13 *Shelby 4, NM 3 Tigers scored wining run in top o 7th on throwing error
9-13 *NM 13, Shelby 11 Branch 5 hits (3 singles; 2 doubles) to tie school record
10-13 *NM 3, Whitehall 2 9 innings; continuation of 2nd game of season; Cooke wins both halves of DH
10-14 Whitehall 6, NM 0 Moat double
10-15 Montague 5, NM 1 Districts; Montague scored 4 runs in 4th ininng with 2 outs; Branch 2 hits    


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