Orchard LakeApril 30, 2013
Playoff positioning on the line as St. Mary’s baseball takes on C.C.
By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer
In his time playing with the Birmingham Brother Rice baseball team, Matt Petry was fortunate enough to battle for a Michigan Catholic High School League title on two separate occasions.
Since arriving in Orchard Lake to manage the St. Mary’s program three years ago, Petry and his guys have been on the outside looking in when it comes to trips to Comerica Park.
From the onset of the 2013 season, though, Petry said reaching the championship game, and having the chance to play in a Major League venue, was one of his squad’s top goals.
On May 4, the Eaglets possible journey downtown could pick up some more steam with a second, and final, date against Novi Detroit Catholic Central.
“We feel like we have a team capable of playing with anyone when we do things the way we can,” Petry said last week. “This is going to be a big game for us and for what we want to do.”
The Eaglets face Catholic Central at 2 p.m. May 4 on the road.
At press time, St. Mary’s was 10-7 overall, 5-4 in the Central Division, good for third place and just ahead of Catholic Central, which was in fourth place at 3-4.
The top four teams in the six-team division qualify for the playoffs, which begins May 11.
The final is May 16 at Comerica Park.
“We went through a rough stretch of games, but we’re starting to figure things out,” Petry said. “They are all big games now.”
The standings could have greatly shifted since press time, with both teams playing three league games since April 24.
That alone may put even more emphasis on the May 4 meeting, in which St. Mary’s will look to bounce back from a 6-3 loss earlier this year to the Shamrocks.
“That was a good baseball game; they just found a couple more hits at key times than we did,” Petry said of the April 17 loss. “I thought we played well, hit the ball and pitched well. We have to do that again this time around.”
Catholic Central led 3-0 in the first one, only to see St. Mary’s pull within a run in the sixth, but the Shamrocks pulled away with a clutch hit the next inning.
The Eaglets bounced back three days later with a dominant doubleheader sweep of Warren De La Salle.
“We have to throw strikes and make the routine play,” Petry said. “We expect another good game. We think our bats are coming to life, and we’ll score some more runs this time around. The second time through (the schedule) is when you’re really battling for playoff position. We’re excited to be part of it and see how it plays itself out.”
The Catholic League is set to host four semifinal games May 11 at Madonna University.
The C-D Division games begin at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
The C-D title game is at 5 p.m. May 16 at Comerica Park.
The A-B Division semifinals have the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. and then 4 p.m.
The winners square off for the league title at 7 p.m. May 16 at Comerica Park.
For a complete playoff bracket, visit www.chsl.com.