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Sterling Heights

June 8, 2013

Stevenson baseball team wins D-1 regional title

Titans head to Wayne State for the state quarters

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
The Sterling Heights Stevenson baseball team beat Warren Cousino 10-2 to claim a 2013 MHSAA D-1 regional title. The Titans rallied back from a 5-0 deficit to beat Macomb Dakota 6-5 in a regional semifinal. Pictured is Stevenson sophomore Brandon Williams, getting the hit that won the Titans the June 8 regional semi.

FAIR HAVEN — The Sterling Heights Stevenson baseball team knocked off Warren Cousino 10-2 to capture a 2013 Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 regional title.

But the real story of a regional played June 8 at Anchor Bay was how Stevenson (27-8) survived to advance to the regional final.

After falling behind Macomb Dakota 5-0, the Titans rallied to score six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat the Cougars 6-5. The win marked the third time Stevenson beat Dakota this season.

The Titans sent 10 batters to the plate in the last inning, recording seven hits and two walks in tallying six runs. Sophomore Brandon Williams lined a shot to right field to score the winning run in the regional semi.

"I'm at a loss for words," said Dakota coach Matt Carley, whose team ends the season at 26-6. "I'm still reeling a little bit. That's not the way it's supposed to go down."

"We just talk about never giving up," Stevenson coach Joe Emanuele said. "That was a really emotional game. Did I think we were going to win down 5-0, probably not. But I thought if we were able to get some guys on, and then we got the bases loaded, and I started to think we had a chance.""

The Titans rode that wave of emotion to their second regional title in three years (2011). Stevenson moves on to face the winner of a Grosse Pointe South/University of Detroit Jesuit matchup at 4 p.m. June 11 at Wayne State University.

"My worry was that we'd be flat. (Cousino) saved their ace and got away with it, and we just had to make him throw pitches," Emanuele said. "We were able to get to him and tire him out, and we got to a really good pitcher, and that I'm really proud of."

Stevenson got to Cleary in the third inning, plating four runs to build a 4-0 advantage. The Titans would score five more times in the top of the fifth, punctuated by a three-run double by junior pitcher/outfielder Zach McGuire that made it 9-2, Stevenson.

Cleary, who pitched 4.1 innings in the regional final, drove in both of Cousino's runs on a single in the bottom of the third.

"That's a heck of a ball club over there. After that first game, I didn't think there was a team in the state that was going to beat (Stevenson) in the final," said Patriots coach Justin Newcomb, whose team finishes the season at 23-10 in a campaign that saw Cousino win its first league title since 1994 and first district title since 2005.

"That was a great team win, and they rode it to a regional title."

Cousino got by Warren Woods Tower (15-16) 1-0 to advance to the regional final.

The Utica Ford softball team bested Warren Regina 8-5 to claim a D-1 softball regional title. The Falcons (29-11) will meet Garden City, Detroit Renaissance or Detroit Western in a quarterfinal at 4 p.m. June 11 at Wayne State University.

The semifinals and finals for all divisions take place June 14-15 in Battle Creek.