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Orchard Lake

June 19, 2013

Key for St. Mary’s now centers on taking program beyond regional

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Devin Rose slides safely into home during a regional semifinal victory against Clawson High. The Eaglets lost to Richmond in extra innings for the second straight season.

When the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s baseball team lost to Richmond High in extra innings of a regional game last season, Matt Petry spoke of the necessary steps the program had taken to get back on track.

When the Eaglets lost to Richmond in extra innings of the 2013 regional round, Petry boasted about many of the same steps, now with a focus on taking “the step,” come next spring.

“We took some huge strides again this season: ones we needed to take,” Petry said following the Eaglets’ 4-3 loss to Richmond in a Division 2 regional final June 8. “We won another district, won more than 20 games in a season for the first time in a while, and reached the regional final a year after just reaching the semifinal. There was a lot to be proud of this year.”

Even if it felt like so much was left on the table.

St. Mary’s actually led Richmond 3-2 with one out and nobody on base in the bottom of the seventh.

But the Blue Devils tied the game at 3-3, and then won it in the bottom of the 10th.

“We had opportunities,” Petry said. “We just didn’t cash in when we had to.”

St. Mary’s ends the season 24-16 and is set to bring back as many as 19 varsity veterans in 2014.

“People have circled next season for quite a while,” Petry said. “We’ll have a great group of seniors with a lot of experience to fall back on. I think it’s time we enter talk about playing in Battle Creek.”

Northern ousted by Rice
One week after capturing the program’s first district title, Walled Lake Northern had its season come to a close in a 2-0 loss to Birmingham Brother Rice in the D-1 regional semifinals.

Northern ends the season 23-10.

“No question — no question at all. This was the most successful season we’ve ever had,” coach Kevin LaPlante said after winning the district title. “We finally got over that hump this year.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.