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Cardinal Baseball & Softball Open Conference vs Tri County

It's finally here... the start of Conference play in the CSAA-Gold for the Big Rapids Cardinal Baseball and Softball teams! 

Cardinal baseball got off to a slow start dropping their first 2 games to the Petoskey Northmen 9-3 & 2-0. They then took a single game against Ludington 1-0 buoyed by a stellar starting pitching performance from Sophomore Keaton Ballard.

Ballard went 6 2/3, struck out 12, walked 1, but did not get the win. LJ Graves threw 1 pitch to the Orioles Irelan who drove the ball deep to center field. Senior Jace Gray ran it down to send the game to the bottom of the 7th.

The Cards then led off the 7th with back to back singles by Martinson and Decker before none other than Jace Grey returned to close the game out with a walk-off RBI single to center.

After Ludington the Cards continued to struggle to consistently play a full 7 innings. They dropped game 1 at Morley Stanwood 15-5 making 7 errors before demolishing the Mohawks in game 2 10-0. Kinnally struck out 16 in 5 innings (had a 4k inning in the 3rd) allowing only 2 hits and a walk. He topped off his day with solo home run.

Coming into Conference Coach Doherty and Coach Scarpelli are looking for 7 innings of 'grind'. Throwing strikes, making routine plays, and putting the ball in play. They did so at North Pointe Christian on the 13th but dropped the game 5-4.

"It was hard fought. We made some mistakes but minimized them. We just didn't get timely hitting. The boys fought hard though, and North Pointe is a good team."

Cardinal softball has had a little easier time thus far albeit in limited play. While baseball is 4-4, Cardinal softball is a modest 3-1. Opening against Ludington the Cards managed 2 victories; 8-7 & 15-6. They then turned around and split with the Morley Stanwood Mohawks losing game 1 8-3 before taking the nightcap 10-7.

Cardinal softball is averaging 9 runs per game but giving up 7 in a limited sample size. The Cardinals are still young and, like baseball, have only been able to get outside as a team a handful of times if that. 

Coming into today's game Head Coach Dawn Thompson is excited to be outside in true softball weather. "It will be important for our pitchers to get ahead of hitters to set the tone. Communication will be key for success today."

Catch both Cardinal baseball and softball varsity teams at Big Rapids High School starting at 4pm as they host the Tri County Vikings.

Follow @scarpsbaseball on Twitter for live game updates for baseball and @BigRapidsDN for both baseball and softball recaps.


Playoffs! Cards take on Coyotes in Round 1 at Ludington

Big Rapids capped off a strong 2nd half of the season last Friday with a statement win over the Grant Tigers: 56-35. 

This makes 5 in a row for Coach Ingles' Cardinals and 10 of their last 11 to end the regular season. Add in a season series sweep over the Coyotes and Big Rapids couldn't possibly feel better about tonight's Round 1 matchup with Reed City.


When the Coyotes hosted Big Rapids on January 11th it was tight. 54-50 final but if you watched or listened to the game it didn't seem as close as the score board displayed. Reed City only briefly led by 1 point twice in the 2nd quarter. The Cardinals lead was as much as 10 in the 3rd. They then survived the 4th getting outscored 18-13.


This turned a corner for Big Rapids. Since that night they're only lost 1 game at Fremont; 54-36.


Facing the Coyotes a second time was a much different affair for Big Rapids. February 15th Reed City came to Cardinal Country and failed to score a bucket until more than 12 minutes into the game. The Coyotes scored 6 points in the half. They followed that with 21 total points in the 2nd half. Cardinals completed the season sweep with a final of 43-27.


The Cardinals dominant defense, that didn't allow 50 points to 3 of the highest scoring offenses in the league during the final 2 weeks, is looking to again repeat their efforts at Ludington tonight in District 35 Round 1 Play.


Tipoff is at 6:00pm with the Big Rapids Public Schools Pre-Game on WBRN 1460, 107.7, & 96.5 with Bryan Fongers and J.T. Scarpelli on the call.


You can also stream the game via the Betten Baker Chevy Buick GMC Live Stream here!




Cardinals Close Out Conference Play Hosting the Grant Tigers Tonight

Both the Cardinal Boys and Girls Basketball teams close out their Conference Seasons at home tonight versus the Grant Tigers.


For the boys this ends their roller coaster season that is ending, regardless of tonight, on quite a high. The boys took care of business this week knocking off Newaygo 49-44 on Monday then winning at Chippewa Hills the next night 47-32.


Monday was a makeup and vengeance for a January 4th upset at Newaygo 75-68 in overtime.


Tuesday was doing what had to be done. Their 47-32 game was as eventful as the score looks, but a win is a win. Coach Kent Ingles and the Cards did what they needed to for the W.


In the 3rd quarter Ingles essentially stopped all play and had the Cardinals play keep away to burn clock.


Why? Why in the 3rd quarter?


Chip Hills Coach Lenny Starck dropped the Warriors back into a tight 2-3 zone refusing to come out and challenge a ball handler. So Coach Ingles had DJ Lee stand at half court and milk clock for about 90 seconds before the Warriors adjusted. Big Rapids ate up another 60+ seconds playing keep away. Then repeated their ensuing 2 possessions.


Genius. Boring, but genius.


The Cardinals had gone cold from the field and the Warriors were incapable of scoring quickly all night. There's no shot clock in high school. Game set and match.

Tonight the Cards host the 11-8 Grant Tigers who have won 5 of their last 6 including upsets over Reed City and Morley Stanwood. They even lost to Fremont, at Fremont, by 1 point in overtime; 60-59. Coach Joe Schuitema's Tigers are rolling at the right time.


Just like Coach Ingles' Cardinals who have won 9 of their last 10. The only loss? At Fremont. In that span they're only giving up 42 points per game including 3 games of less than 35 points. 


With a win tonight Big Rapids finishes in a stand alone 2nd place. With a loss and a Reed City win versus the visiting Newaygo Lions, 2nd place is shared.


Tune to WBRN 1460, 107.7, & 96.5 for the play-by-play action of both the Lady Cardinals and the Boys Cardinals with Bryan Fongers and J.T. Scarpelli starting at 5:45p tonight (2/22/2019).


You can also stream the game via the Betten Baker Chevy Buick GMC Live Stream here!




HS Basketball: RC @ BR... The Strangest Game You'll See This Year

In what was the strangest offensive game you'll see this year in high school basketball, the Big Rapids Cardinals held off the Reed City Coyotes to complete the season sweep: 43-27.

The Coyotes managed 6 points in the 1st half including 2 in the 1st quarter, both from free throws. It took Reed City almost 12 minutes to knock down their first field goal. At half the Cardinals held a lead akin to a football game, 28-6.

The 3rd quarter took just an odd a turn; the Cardinals scored 4 points to Reed City’s 17 drawing the game to within 10 but then the 4th returned the scoring to normalcy with the Coyotes managing only 4 points to the Cardinals 13.

The Coyotes never led all night long. The closest they came after the 1st quarter was the 9 points to close out the 3rd.

Leading the way for the Cardinals was senior Jake Martinson with a cool 12 points. Sam Alley added 9 with 2 of the biggest rebounds of the game including a missed free throw put back to drive the nail early in the 4th.

The Coyotes Hansen led with 13 points including 2 triples. Price, Johnson, and Pelton were the only other Coyotes to score.

On one hand you have to wonder if Big Rapids has seen the Coyote team that beat 1st place Fremont earlier this season. The Reed City squad that was vying for 1st place coming into February. It’s questions like these that make the Coyotes dangerous come next Monday in Ludington. Who will show up? The December 7th Coyotes who hosted Fremont and brushed them aside? Or the February 15th Coyotes who scored 6 points in a half.

On the other hand, you have to give it to Big Rapids. Legendary Coach Kent Ingles and his staff have focused on the side of basketball people often forget; defense. And it’s paying dividends.

The Cardinals mixed up their zone last Friday which confused and baffled the Coyotes to the tune of 22 turnovers. Add in LJ Graves’ 3 blocks and there were no easy possessions for Reed City.

Big Rapids has given up the 2nd fewest points in the Conference behind only Fremont (47 & 46 respectively).

The Coyotes host Central Montcalm tonight and Newaygo Friday to end their regular season. The Cardinals host Newaygo tonight, head to Chippewa Hills tomorrow, and host Grant Friday.

Tune to WBRN 1460, 107.7, & 96.5 for the play-by-play action of both the Lady Cardinals and the Boys Cardinals with Bryan Fongers and J.T. Scarpelli starting at 5:45p tonight (2/18/2019).

You can also stream the game via the Betten Baker Chevy Buick GMC Live Stream here!


Cardinals Head to Fremont to Try for Another Upset

After a season sweep of the Tri County Vikings last Friday, the Big Rapids Cardinals head to Fremont to take on the 1st place Packers!

Big Rapids is 8-5 overall, 5-3 in Gold play and currently sit in 3rd place.

The Fremont Packers are 11-1 overall, 6-1 in Gold play and currently lead the standings in 1st place.

Fremont's only loss on the season was at Reed City back in December, 61-49. They returned the favor to split the season series last Friday beating the Coyotes in Fremont, 60-49. The Packers have now won 9 in a row dating back to that single loss on December 7th.

The Cardinals are on a 5-game win streak dating back to January 8th when they lost at home to the Central Montcalm Hornets. 4 of the 5 games are conference wins which has helped propel the Cardinals to 3rd place.

Big Rapids dropped game 1 of the series to Fremont on December 14th, 54-44. The Cardinals only led twice in that game, both very early. Fremont then ran away with it in the 4th.

The game was much closer than the final showed, however. Staying within 10 points until the end of the 3rd, the Packers ripped off 10 unanswered heading into the 4th. The Cardinals eventually closed the deficit to 2 but from there Fremont controlled the pace of play maintaining a somewhat comfortable 5 to 7-point lead until the final moments.

Fast forward to tonight, the Cardinals are not the same team they were on December 14th. With DJ Lee, LJ Graves, Dorian Martin, and Jayden Mason coming as of late, the Cardinals are a tad deeper than game 1.

If the Cardinals can pull off another “Reed City at Reed City” upset tonight they could potentially move into a 3-way tie for 1st. The Coyotes would also need to lose at Grant tonight. A tall order considering they beat the Tigers back on December 14th in Reed City by 14, 56-42.

Both the Girls and Boys will be broadcast tonight on WBRN 1460, 107.7, & 96.5
Also streaming via the Better Baker Big Rapids Stream:

Big Rapids Public Schools Girls Pre-Game 5:45p
Big Rapids Public Schools Boys Pre-Game 7:15p








HS Basketball: Cardinal Boys & Girls Head to Tri-County for Round 2

Both the Big Rapids Cardinals boys and girls travel to Tri County for doubleheader action starting at 6pm tonight. Both games will be aired live on WBRN 1460, 107.7, & 96.5 as well as streaming via the Betten Baker Chevy Buick GMC Live Stream.


The boys are riding a 4-game win streak coming off an eventful start to their week. Monday night they survived against Chippewa Hills 48-43. Tuesday night they won the “Battle of the Cardinals” at Orchard View, 47-45.


Sitting at 7-5, 4-3 in Gold play, the boys will look to sweep the season series tonight. They took game one way back on December 17th of 2018, 82-32. Count on the Vikings (2-10, 0-6), who have found ways to score as of late, to cut that margin closer tonight. Game 1 box and game flow below.


The Lady Cardinals have yet to find their stride. Where the boys had a signature win at Reed City, the girls have struggled to beat the teams they must in order to stay alive in a conference with the #2 ranked team in the state, Central Montcalm.


The main problem? Scoring. The Cardinals have eclipsed 40+ points only 5 times this year with 2 of those games heading into overtime.


The good news? The 2nd half of the year ends the everlasting road trip. After tonight’s game the girls will conclude a 7-game road trip dating back to December 20th, 2018. In fact, they only have 2 road games the rest of the 2018-2019 season: February 1st at Fremont and February 26th at McBain.


In game 1 of the series, the Lady Cardinals fell in overtime to the Vikings in Big Rapids, 56-53. Tonight, Ry-Guy’s metrics have the Vikings winning a defensive affair, 35-31. However, Ry-Guy is only right 50% of the time…


Tune to WBRN 1460, 107.7, & 96.5 for the play-by-play action of both the Lady Cardinals and the Boys Cardinals with Bryan Fongers and J.T. Scarpelli starting at 5:45p.


You can also stream the game via the Betten Baker Chevy Buick GMC Live Stream here!




Big Rapids takes Battle of Cardinals at Orchard View; 47-45

The Big Rapids Cardinals (7-5) took care of business Tuesday night with a non-conference win at Muskegon Orchard View (8-4) 47-45.

The Cardinals opened the game on a 9-0 run that Orchard View could not recover from. The closest they would come would be halfway through the 4th when the home Cardinals pulled within 1, 41-40 before Big Rapids tacked on 4 unanswered.

Big Rapids would then close the game out 47-45 to move to 7-5 overall and hand Orchard View their 4th loss and only 2nd non-conference loss.

Freshman DJ Lee notched the first double-double of his career with 10 points and 10 rebounds, both career highs. Jake Martinson lead in scoring with 11 points while the Iceman Trevor Woodard knocked down 3 of 3 3-point shots.

Big Rapids was 6 of 8 from the Charity Stripe, 5 of 15 from Beyond, out rebounded Orchard View 40-36, and shot 41% overall.

A markedly better performance from Monday night versus the Chippewa Hills Warriors when they shot 28% overall and went 3 of 29 from 3. Despite that, the Cards still managed to grind out a Conference win 48-43.

Both the Lady Cardinals and the Boys Cardinals head to Tri-County Friday night in a Conference Matchup with the Vikings.

Tune to WBRN 1460, 107.7, & 96.5 for the play-by-play action of both the Lady Cardinals and the Boys Cardinals with Bryan Fongers and J.T. Scarpelli.

You can also stream the game via the Betten Baker Chevy Buick GMC Live Stream here!




Cardinals Survive Warrior Scare; 48-43

It wasn’t an easy Monday night for either the Big Rapids Cardinals (6-5) or the Chippewa Hills Warriors (3-7) but somehow Big Rapids came away with the victory, 48-43.

Scoring only 16 points in the first half and going 1-20 from 3-point land, the Cardinals limped into the 2nd half shocked. The Warriors were up 25-16 with as strange a stat line as you’ll see.

Chip Hills had 16 turnovers, hadn’t even attempted a 3-point shot, and were being out rebounded offensively 12 to 4.

The Cardinals had 1 defensive rebound to the Warriors 16. They were shooting 5% from 3-point land and 18% from the field. Sharp shooters Jake Martinson and Sam Alley airballed multiple 3-point shots long. It seemed like the entire Cardinal unit would have had a better chance punting the ball towards the basket.

But then came the 3rd quarter. Then came some true Cardinal heart and soul. Finding any and every way to score Big Rapids threw up 15 3rd quarter points to the Warriors 5 to go up 1; 31-30.

The 5-point Warrior offense was less because the Warriors went cold and more because both Dorian Martin and Jayden Mason played one of the best defensive half’s of basketball you’ll see.

Finishing with a team leading 14 points and 6 rebounds, Mason stifled and frustrated the Warriors at half court. Causing multiple turnovers including in 4 straight Chip Hills possessions. Mason compiled 4 steals in the effort.

Martin finished with 5 points including a fresh and pure 3 pointer in the 4th. But Gucci was all about the defense in the 2nd half frustrating the Warrior’s Cole and Rogers who had a combined 16 turnovers between the 2 of them.

Ironically on the offensive side, it was free throws that ultimately sealed the deal. The Cardinals shot just 11 of 18 from the charity stripe, but they hit them when they needed. The Warriors were spectacular at the line all night but went cold in the 4th. Chip Hills finished 17 of 28. They were 11 of 15 at half.

In fact, in the first half the Warriors had 14 points in the paint. 14 plus 11 is the full 25. So why shoot 3’s when Kuzma and Frebes can run unabated to the hoop.

For both sides it was ugly. But the Cardinals take the win and the Warriors have nothing to be ashamed. They came, they saw, and they very nearly conquered the Cardinals.

The Cardinals (6-5) travel to Orchard View (8-3) tonight in a Battle of the Cardinals.

Tune to WBRN 1460, 107.7, & 96.5 for the play-by-play action with Bryan Fongers and J.T. Scarpelli.

You can also stream the game via the Betten Baker Chevy Buick GMC Live Stream here!


HS Basketball: Cards Edge Grant in Seesaw Affair

The Big Rapids Cardinals edged the Grant Tigers 44-42 at Grant High School in CSAA-Gold Conference action Friday night.

The game was a back and forth affair with 8 lead changes including a final minute 3 point hit by Big Rapid’s Trevor Woodard.


The Cardinals had possession with less than a minute to go when Coach Kent Ingles drew up another in-bound gem. Running picks to draw the defense to Jake Martinson, who averages 21, 3 Grant defenders bit opening up Trevor Woodard for a wide-open shot on the far side of the court. The 3 point bomb hit the rim and bounced a few times before landing home and sealing the deal the Cardinals.


Woodard finished with 6 points, while Martinson tallied yet another double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

The Cardinals are on a 2 game win streak in conference while the Tigers have now lost 3 in a row.


Despite the conference win, the only movement in the CSAA - Gold was the Cardinals and Tigers swapping spots (BR to 5th, Grant to 6th) as Fremont and Reed City, Gold’s 1st & 2nd place teams respectively, both took care of business. Fremont handled Chip Hills at home 74-30 while the Coyotes had little issue in Newaygo’s “Lions Den” winning 73-62.

Conference standings below.


The Cardinals (5-5) host the Chippewa Hills Warriors (3-6) tonight at 7:00pm in Big Rapids.

Tune to WBRN 1460, 107.7, & 96.5 for the play-by-play action with Bryan Fongers and J.T. Scarpelli.

You can also stream the game via the Betten Baker Chevy Buick GMC Live Stream here!



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