By Chris Zadorozny
It was a pitcher’s duel in the championship game of baseball districts between Cabrini and Gabriel Richard Saturday afternoon, but the score might tell you different. Between Pioneer freshman Jacob Lipetzky and Monarch senior Erik Hicks, the duo only allowed four hits, but the Monarchs came out victorious and defeated the Pioneers, 6-0 to win their district.
It wasn’t until the second inning for the Pioneers and the fifth inning for the Monarchs that their first hits came. In five innings of work, Lipetzky threw 87 pitches, facing just 26 batters, striking out two, but walking seven, allowing five unearned runs.
Junior Patrick McBride relieved him in the sixth inning after one batter, only faced only four batters, allowing a hit and one run. For Cabrini, Hicks threw 113 pitches in five innings of work, striking out four, walking five and allowing just two hits in 28 at-bats.
“Our future looks good, but you can’t take anything away from Cabrini,” said Pioneer head coach Albert Fernandez.
The only two hits that the Pioneers had, after a hit parade against the Navigators in the earlier game, came in the second and fourth innings. Sophomore leftfielder John Lemieux singled to right and went as far as third base on two groundouts, but couldn’t score.
“Give credit to the other pitcher, he was good,” said Fernandez. “He’s a good pitcher. He stopped us.”
In the fourth inning, the only hit, a single, came from junior designated hitter Jonathon Rhind, but couldn’t get any farther than first base after the next two batters couldn’t reach base.
That was it for the threats that the Pioneers had as they couldn’t muster any more hits. The Monarchs used the inexperience of Lipetzky against him to score their runs in the fifth inning.
They batted around in the fifth inning, and it all started with a groundout and a strikeout to senior second baseman Bradley Chavis and junior leftfielder Robert DeBlander respectively.
Freshman shortstop Nathan Fryz started the rally there. He walked to reach base, and then stole second. He then was advanced to third on balk by Lipetzky and then scored on a passed ball. Junior centerfielder Dominic Fusco also reached on a walk and stole second and then took third on a passed ball. With Fusco on third, Hicks walked to reach base as well. Senior designated hitter Michael Kuschel was then hit by the pitch, as was junior third baseman, Nick Shirey, to load the bases and bring in Fusco and put Hicks on third.
Hicks scored on a passed ball, as Kuschel and Shirey advanced to third and second respectively. Then, the first hit of the game came to bring in Kuschel in the form of an RBI single from senior catcher Devin MacGregor to put the Monarchs up 4-0 on just one hit.
“Their freshman threw a great game and I think he got a little rattled when he was called for a balk, which he did balk,” said Monarch head coach Doug Sombati. “We have speed, some guys on my team are really fast and when he threw them bad pitches, we took advantage of the speed we had.”
Two more runs were scored in the bottom of the sixth inning as Chavis walked to start the inning. He advanced to second on a groundout to third base by DeBlander, and then was brought in by an RBI double by Fryz. He then scored on a throwing error by the shortstop, after he took third on a passed ball.
It would be the final run scored, and the Pioneers went 1-2-3 in the top half of the seventh inning to secure the Monarch win and advancement to the regional round next Saturday.
Rain may have delayed the start of the Monarchs’ semifinal matchup with River Rouge, but it didn’t delay the power of Cabrini’s bats. The Monarchs scored 12 runs in five innings to defeat the Panthers, 12-0 en route to the championship game.
The Monarchs scored one run in the first off of a sacrifice fly to right, and then four more in the second. Six more in the third inning and the final run came in the fifth inning, ending the Panthers season.
“We’ve struggled scoring runs this year, so the key for us in any game is to get the base runners, get the runners in. When we finally did that, we did that in the second inning, that kind of eased us up,” said Sombati.
Shirey threw 67 pitches in five innings, striking out nine, walking one, and only allowing four hits in 18 at-bats. The Panthers countered with two pitchers, combining for 12 runs on 12 hits, with two strikeouts and five walks.
“We got a good solid performance out of (Nick) Shirey on the hill and that helped us too,” said Sombati.
Senior third baseman, Hicks knocked in the first run of the game, a sacrifice fly to left bringing in freshman shortstop Fryz. Senior second baseman Chavis would be the first one to score in the second inning for the Monarchs after Fryz knocked him in. Fryz would then come around to score after junior centerfielder Fusco doubled. Fusco also came around to score after he advanced to third on a single from Hicks and then took home on a passed ball, making it 5-0 Monarchs.
In the third inning, the Monarchs broke it open and batted around in the inning. MacGregor stated the inning by reaching on a throwing error from the third baseman, and would score on an RBI groundout by Chavis. Freshman first baseman Antonio Carta singled after MacGregor, and then scored on an RBI single from DeBlander. DeBlander would then score after he stole second, took third on a passed ball, and then stole home on the same passed ball.
Two straight walks to Fryz and Fusco put runs on first and second, and a throwing error by the shortstop would load the bases. Kuschel brought in Fryz and Fusco with a single to left. Shirey then singled to bring in Hicks to really put the game away.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth when another run was scored. Shirey would come into score the winning run after he singled, took second on a passed ball, advanced to third on a throwing error by the second baseman, and then scored on a routine groundball to third to win the game.
In the second game of district baseball at, Richard and Dearborn- Henry Ford Academy Navigators squared off and the Pioneers scored runs early and often to mercy the Navigators 11-1 in six innings to advance to the district championship.
In the first inning, the Pioneers scored two runs on three hits, and then scored three more in the second on three hits. One run each in the fourth and fifth innings, and then four more in the sixth would cap the scoring for the Pioneers.
Senior rightfielder Kyle Best carried the team in the game, with three runs on two hits and two RBI’s, along with a spectacular catch fourth inning. Best started the scoring in the first inning. He singled to leadoff, and then stole second and took third on a passed ball. He was then brought in by junior first baseman Patrick McBride on an RBI double to left. McBride was then brought in by junior catcher Rhind on an RBI single off of the pitcher.
Sophomore John Lemieux started the second inning for the Pioneers with a walk. Lemieux advanced to second on a single by junior Pete Jurasek. Lemieux came around to score on an RBI single from junior centerfielder Zackary Barr past the first baseman, while Jurasek would score on a throwing error by the second baseman as Best would reach. Best then came around to score after stealing second and advancing to third on a passed ball. Junior third baseman Joseph Lavine then brought in Best on a groundout to the shortstop, making it 5-0.
Best would score the only run in the fourth inning after he doubled and was brought in by an RBI groundout to third by McBride. Jurasek also scored the only run in the fifth inning after he reached on a single to center. He stole second and third, and then took home on a passed ball to make it 7-0.
In the top half of the fifth inning, the only run scored by the Navigators ended up coming from senior third baseman Michael Pickett, who scored on an RBI single from senior right fielder Brian Bayles.
It was back to scoring again for the Pioneers as they scored four more in the sixth to win the game in a mercy. Senior second baseman Anthony Szpaichler would be the first to score, as he walked to reach base. He then stole second and third and then took home on a passed ball. Rhind also scored after reaching base on a walk. He too stole second, was advanced to third on a throwing error by the shortstop, and then took home on a passed ball.
Lipetzky reached on that same throwing error that scored Rhind and would come around to score on three different passed balls. Lemieux was the final runner to score as he walked to reach. Jurasek grounded to short to score Lemieux to end the game.
Sophomore Joseph Pappas threw 92 pitches in six innings of work for the Pioneers, striking out five, walking two and allowing just four hits and one run in 22 at-bats. The Navigators countered with two pitchers, who threw a combined 129 pitches in six innings of work, striking out six, walking seven, and allowing 11 runs on nine hits in 35 at-bats.
To read the original post that appeared in the Downriver News-Herald on June 2, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald