Madison Heights, Pontiac
Bishop Foley defends Catholic League title with win over NDP
Published May 16, 2013
DETROIT — Buster Sunde has certainly seen flashier wins.
But at this stage, in this game and at this park, a win is all that matters.
Despite being outhit 9-5, Sunde and his Madison Heights Bishop Foley baseball team claimed its second straight Catholic League C-D Division title Thursday evening, beating Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 8-2.
“It was kind of a weird win, but we’re a team that likes to take advantage of whatever we’re given,” Sunde said afterward. “As the game wore on, we put together some good at-bats and made the most of it.”
Prep, playing in a final for the first time since 2009, entered the game as the only team to beat Foley this season.
While the Fighting Irish hung right with the Ventures most of the afternoon, eight walks from the pitching staff proved too much to overcome.
“That’s the difference,” coach Darren Audia said. “I said coming into the game that we couldn’t make many mistakes. We didn’t have any major errors, but you can’t walk that many times.”
After a scoreless first two innings, a single and two walks loaded the bases for Foley in the bottom of the third.
Garrett Schilling then walked to bring in the first run, and after hitting a towering foul ball to right field that may have had the distance for a home run, Billy Malek also walked to bring in a run.
One batter later, Michael Reid broke the game open with a three-run triple to right.
“Mike’s at-bat was huge,” Sunde said. “That’s exactly what we needed.”
By the time the inning ended, Foley needed just two hits to cross the plate five times for a 5-0 lead.
Prep bounced back in the top of the fourth, though, moving runners to second and third with one out, eventually getting an RBI single from Will Mullen.
Daniel Hogan then doubled to left field to plate another run, and Prep pulled within 5-2.
But Foley (25-1) answered right back when Brad Baldwin ripped an RBI triple in the bottom of the fourth for a 6-2 lead.
After another walk, Nate Grys doubled Baldwin home.
Foley scored its last run of the game later in the inning when Reid beat out a would-be double play.
“I actually thought we played loose and played well,” Audia said of his team, which falls to 17-10. “We’re a very young team. I think we’ll be back here before too long.”
Foley, playing in the game for the fourth consecutive year, won last year’s title 11-2 against Allen Park Cabrini after dropping the 2011 and 2010 championship games.
“This is the satisfaction you get from seeing the kids play here and see all the hard work pay off,” Sunde said. “It never gets old winning here.”