The game was billed as the battle between future Michigan State University teammates when Holland Christian hosted Zeeland East in Tuesday afternoon baseball action.
It featured Holland Christian senior pitcher Chris Mokma, who has committed to MSU, versus Zeeland East senior pitcher Adam Berghorst, who has signed to play MSU baseball and football.
It nearly turned out to be a game for the record books.
The Maroons won, 6-0, and Mokma came within one out of setting a state record for most career perfect games. Mokma, who has pitched three perfect games, retired the first 20 batters before Michael Zeerip doubled down the right field line with two outs in the seventh.
Mokma pitched a pair of perfect games last year and one earlier this season, which ties him for first place in Michigan High School Athletic Association history with Ryan Orr, who pitched for Bath High School from 2011-2014.
“He has come through all year long,” Holland Christian coach Jim Caserta said. “Whenever he pitches, there are a lot of people there watching him, and obviously, we get every team’s best pitcher when he pitches, but that doesn’t seem to bother him.
“He had really good command today of three different pitches. He was just dominant.”
Mokma finished with 14 strikeouts, and Zeerip’s hit was the only one he allowed. Mokma threw a five-inning perfect game against Holland on April 9.
“He’s tied for the most (perfect games) with three,” Caserta said. “Give (Zeerip) credit. He got a nice hit on him at the end.”
Holland Christian improved to 20-2 overall. The game was scoreless before the Maroons scored a run in the fourth and added three more in the fifth. Berghorst went five innings and allowed one earned run, four hits while striking out four.
“Bergy throws the ball hard,” Caserta said. “It was only 1-0 through four, and then we were able to get three in the fifth. If you are able to get a four-run lead with Chris pitching, you feel pretty good about that."
The Major League Baseball Draft is June 3-5, and the Maroons will be watching closely.
“I’m real optimistic that Chris is going to be drafted,” Caserta said. “At this point, it’s a matter of how high he goes. Just in listening in the scouts’ discussions and the discussions I’ve had with them, I think they are pretty serious about Chris. But we will wait and see what happens. It’s only a couple of weeks away, so we will find out.”