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Agar brothers square off against each other in Zeeland baseball showdown

Jeff, Josh Agar compete at rival schools
Agar brothers square off in Zeeland baseball showdown
Posted at 9:55 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 08:59:17-04

ZEELAND, Mich. — Three baseball games this week between Zeeland West and Zeeland East will more than likely determine the champion of the OK Green conference.

The Chix and Dux both entered Tuesday night's doubleheader with an 8-1 record in conference play.

Perhaps more importantly, it will also determine bragging rights in the Agar family as brothers Jeff and Josh square off on opposing teams in the rivalry.

Agar brothers square off in rivalry

"I got up a little bit earlier than him this morning, we met in the kitchen and didn't even look at each other, didn't make eye contact, didn't say a single word," said Jeff Agar.

Jeff, a senior at Zeeland East, is two years older than his brother Josh, who is a sophomore pitcher and infielder at Zeeland West.

The brothers were placed in the opposite schools after the school 'district' boundaries changed, putting Josh in a Zeeland West elementary school while Jeff had already made friends at East and was grand-fathered in by their older sister.

"I was excited for the game," Josh recalled about Tuesday morning, "I didn't talk to him that much, right now, we're not brothers, we're playing against each other, we're opponents."

It's safe to say it was an interesting day for everyone in the Agar family.

"I didn't feel very good today, I was just thinking about this game," added their father, John Agar.

And their mother, Jennifer Agar says she couldn't focus on anything, especially not work on Tuesday morning.

"Yeah, I took vacation from work for the afternoon," she laughed.

The entire Agar family was in attendance while younger brother Josh took the mound for the Dux. Meanwhile, Jeff batted third in the Zeeland East lineup.

Jennifer Agar's shirt supporting both sons
Jeff and Josh's mother, Jennifer Agar sported this shirt during the family rivalry on Tuesday night.

As for who their parents were rooting for, that's a tough question.

"I fall on the side of the senior, I have two more years with Josh," smiled Jennifer.

"Well, you have Jeff batting with two strikes on him, what do you do? You root for him to strikeout? You can't do that," added John, "you just hope he hits it and somebody catches it."

Josh would pitch extremely well throughout game one of the doubleheader, striking out 14 hitters, two of them coming against his older brother.

Josh Agar comes off the mound after a strikeout
Zeeland West sophomore Josh Agar comes off the mound smiling after a first inning strikeout of his older brother, Jeff.

"I knew he could hit my fastball so I had to spin a lot of curveballs in there," he added on his scouting report, "I had to keep it down in the zone."

However, in the fourth inning, Josh would still have a no-hitter on the mound until his big brother changed that in a hurry.

Josh would lace a ball to right field for an RBI double to get the Chix on the board, still trailing, 2-1.

"Yeah, that was tough, it had to be him out of anyone to break it," Josh said, cracking a smile.

It was a 1-for-3 day against his older brother but Jeff says he'll take it after that big at-bat in the fourth.

"He had me down two strikes, I was sitting on the curveball, adjusting to the fastball and he gave me a fastball. I got it off the handle but it got through, it was hustle double and got the RBI."

The Agar brothers cross paths
Jeff (left) and Josh (right) Agar cross paths during Tuesday night's game against one another, not making eye contact.

On the big stage, both Jeff and Josh performed extremely well.

Josh would go six-and-a-third innings on the mound with the 14 strikeouts as both teams battled to take sole possession of the conference race.

"I've worked so hard for this moment, to see it all pay off felt really good, it gave me a lot of energy," Josh said on his pitching performance.

However, in that seventh inning, East would finally get to Josh on the mound, tying the game and eventually scoring two more runs on the bullpen.

The Chix would get the 4-2 win giving Jeff bragging right but he admits it wasn't easy to see his brother struggle late in the game.

Jeff Agar smiles after the win
Zeeland East senior and Josh's older brother Jeff (8) smiles after the 4-2 win over Zeeland West on Tuesday.

"It was kind of sweet and sour," Jeff said, "I really wanted to win and that felt really good but at the end of the day, I've been through what he's been through and I feel for him, but I'm just glad we got the win."

Zeeland East would take both games of Tuesday's doubleheader while the two teams square off yet again on Thursday for the final game of the season's series.

And don't expect the brothers to talk, at least until that game is over, maybe even longer.

"After the weekend it'll be back to normal but for the rest of this week and maybe the weekend, it'll be a little different," Jeff said sternly.

The Chix now take a two game lead in the OK Green standings ahead of Thursday.