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Bay City Western gets run in sixth inning, holds on to beat Brother Rice 1-0 in D-1 final

June 15, 2013

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Matt Ruppenthal picked up a hit on this pitch, but the Brother Rice offense was held scoreless in a 1-0 loss to Bay City Western.

BATTLE CREEK — A walk. A balk. A single.

In the end, that’s what the Division 1 baseball championship came down to Saturday morning at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek as Bay City Western won its first state title in program history with a 1-0 victory over Brother Rice.

“He kept us off-balance,” Rice coach Bob Riker said of Western pitcher Connor Foley. “He threw strikes and didn’t walk anybody. He changed speeds, and when we got people on base, we didn’t do anything with it.”

Foley (8-0) was dominant all morning, as he has been most of the season.

The senior allowed just six hits while striking out four Rice batters. Five of the hits were singles.

He walked one and needed just 91 pitches to go all seven innings. In 19 postseason innings, Foley allowed one run.

“We just couldn’t get anything generated,” Riker said simply.

Western got the game’s lone run in the sixth inning.

Rice pitcher Dalton Greyerbiehl, who entered the game in the top of the third, began the sixth with back-to-back groundouts before walking Grant Bridgewater on five pitches.

With Brendan Harrison batting, Greyerbiehl was called for a balk, and pinch runner David Fegan was awarded second base.

He scored moments later when Harrison ripped a shot up the middle.

Foley made the lone run stand up.

“It just wasn’t in the cards for us today,” Riker said of the game and his team, which ends the season 32-9-1.

Aside from the end of the sixth, Greyerbiehl was equally dominant for Rice.

The submarine-style pitcher allowed just two hits in 4.2 innings.

Randy Righter, who pitched two scoreless innings to begin the game, and Matt Ruppenthal each had two hits for Rice.

“The guys played their hearts out,” Riker added. “I’m real proud of them.”

Western, which beat Sterling Heights Stevenson 2-1 in the semifinals and allowed six runs in seven playoff games, ends the season 42-2.



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