Sterling Heights Stevenson baseball downs Warren De La Salle in regional final
June 7, 2014
FAIR HAVEN — Sterling Heights Stevenson senior pitcher/outfielder Brandon Hughes came through in a big spot, as his solo home run in the top of the 10th inning provided the Titans with the winning run in what would turn out to be a 7-2 win over Warren De La Salle in a Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 regional final.
The game took place June 7 at Anchor Bay High. Stevenson (37-2-1) advances to face Grosse Pointe South in a state quarterfinal set for 4 p.m. June 10 at Wayne State University.
Hughes' home run, a shot over the left-field wall, came on an 0-2 pitch. He also pitched an inning in relief to keep the game tied at 2-2.
"When I came in to pitch, it seemed like everything slowed down for me," Hughes said. "I saw a fastball on 0-2, and I just ripped it."
The first five Stevenson batters reached base in the top of 10th inning. Titans junior Riley McCauley and senior Jacob Rogers recorded two-RBI singles in the frame, as well.
"We didn't have our best stuff today, but we found a way to win," said Stevenson coach Joe Emanuele, who with the win earned his fourth regional championship. "We're going to go back and work on some things, and try and get some things right, but we found a way to win."
"That's one of the best high school baseball games I've ever seen or been a part of," De La Salle coach Matt Cook said. "We lost to an outstanding team. Stevenson is very good. Our guys were up to the challenge today, and we refused to lose and the game went down to the wire."
The game’s first run came in the top of second inning when Titans senior pitcher/third baseman Jake Rogers scored following an error. De La Salle tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth when senior infielder Matt Minaudo hit a single to center fielder, allowing senior outfielder/first baseman Pat Adams to score.
Both teams were called for a balk in the game, as De La Salle was given home plate in the bottom of the sixth to take a 2-1 lead and Stevenson then tied it on a balk in the top of the seventh.
“I’ve never seen that before. Both were called correctly,” Cook said following the regional final. “That’s one of those things you never see but you can never say never in baseball.”
To advance to the regional final, Stevenson knocked off Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse 3-0. The Pilots bested Macomb Dakota 2-1 in eight innings.
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The Utica Ford II softball team downed Warren Regina 3-2 in eight innings to claim its second straight D-1 regional title. The Falcons (29-8), advance to take on Garden City High at 4 p.m. June 10 at The University of Michigan.
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