Saline Takes On Warren DeLaSalle for the State Baseball Championship

 06/17/2016 - 22:16
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The Hornets stand at attention as the anthem plays before Thursday's semifinal at MSU.

Saline takes on Warren DeLaSalle Saturday for the MHSAA Division 1 baseball championship. The game takes place at 11:30 a.m. at Michigan State University’s McClane Stadium.

Hornet fans and well-wishers are encouraged to bring signs and enthusiasm to a send off at 8:20 a.m. at Saline High School.

Tickets for the game are $8. For parking information, see the information below.

The Hornets and skipper Scott Theisen , 0-4 in state championship games, haven’t been back to the state championship game since 2010, when they lost to Pioneer. That was the third straight year Saline fell in the championship game. The previous year, Saline fell to Warren DeLaSalle.

But that was two generations ago in high school baseball years. The kids who played in those games have graduated from college and are in the workforce.

Scouting Saline

The Saline baseball team (35-6) has been challenged in every post-season game thus far. The Hornets have been behind in all but one game. And in that game, against Pioneer, Saline watched the Pioneers come back from an 8-0 deficit, tie it up and steal the momentum.

The team talks a lot about adversity, fight, confidence and trust in each other.

Coach Theisen wasn’t sure who he planned to start for Saturday’s game. Junior Sean O’Keefe (5-0, 4.26 ERA) should be relatively fresh after pitching just 2 2/3 innings Thursday but he’s had control issues recently. Sophomore Cole Daniels (8-1, 1.55 ERA) hasn’t pitched since the Regional tournament, where he wasn’t at his best. Kellan Huang gave the Hornets 4 1/3 strong innings in the quarterfinal and he’s swung a hot bat recently, too. And Josh Nelson (11-0, 0.72 ERA) said he’ll be ready to go if Theisen calls his name.

“We've got a few different guys we can go with. It may be piecemealed again but I feel comfortable that we have enough,” Theisen said. “Nelson does have a rubber arm. I think he's going to want to go back out there. We'll see.”

The Hornets can probably win with less than stellar pitching. They’ve done so several times throughout the playoffs.

The “bottom half” of the lineup has been on fire this week, with Cole Daniels, Richard Hovde, Kellan Huang and Ryan Foley delivering many timely hits.

“One through nine we're dangerous. Pitchers can't take innings off,” Theisen said. “Any part of our lineup is capable and that makes it tough on pitching.”

Theisen isn’t talking to the team about Saline’s 0-4 state championship game record.

“This team is their own team. We take very game like it is. Nothing's different. The game is the same game between the lines, “ Theisen said. “It's just a little bit different with the circus out here.”

Saline’s Possible lineup

CF Zach Schwartzenberger .333 4 HRs 24 RBI 33 runs
SS Thomas Miller .373 7 2Bs 28 RBI 31 RBI
2B Zachary Owings .396 12 2Bs 16 RBI 26 runs
1B Sean O’Keefe .377  3 HRs 16 RBI 14 runs
3B Jake Finkbeiner .409 4 HRs 38 RBI 23 runs
RF Richard Hovde .348 1 HR 18 RBI 24 runs
DH Cole Daniels .424 2 HRs 29 RBI 30 runs
LF Ryan Foley .412 2 3Bs 15 RBI 29 runs
C Cal Livesay NA

Saline’s Roster

1 1 Stevie Kise OF 5’11 170 Sr
2 2 Josh Nelson P 5’9 170 Sr
4 4 Zachary Owings 2B 6’1 180 Sr
5 5 John Holt P 6’4 185 Sr
6 6 Michael Schuby 2B 5’8 165 Sr
7 7 Zach Schwartzenberger CF 5’10 175 Jr
8 8 Cal Livesay C 6’0 180 Sr
9 9 Mike Monahan C 6’2 185 Sr
10 10 Jake Finkbeiner 3B 6’0 180 Jr
11 11 Sean Millspaugh P 6’1 174 Jr
12 12 Paul Kiyabu P 5’3 145 So
13 13 Garrett Marion LF 5’10 162 Sr
14 14 Cole Daniels P/1B 6’0 215 So
15 15 Ryan Foley OF 5’11 155 Jr
16 16 Thomas Miller SS 6’0 167 Sr
17 17 Andrew Diuble OF 5’10 171 So
18 18 Kellan Huang P 5’10 174 Jr
19 19 Ted Eppinga P/1B 6’6 182 Jr
21 21 Richard Hovde RF 5’11 176 Sr
23 23 Sean O’Keefe P/1B 6’4 225 Jr
24 24 Justin Flanagan P 6’2 180 Jr

Scouting Warren DeLaSalle

Warren DeLaSalle (28-13) is a Michigan High School baseball powerhouse. The Pilots have won two MHSAA Division 1 state championships (2009, against the Hornets, and 2000) and a Class A state championship (1993). They were runner up in 2012, the last time Saline made the final four. Former coach Brian Kelly coached the Pilots to all three of those championships. New skipper Matt Cook has a 121-101-3 record in three years. Cook’s Pilots are in the state championship for the first time since 2012. Since losing the Hudsonville, the Pilots had fallen on harder times. This is the first year they’ve won the regional since then. The Pilots went 10-10 in the Catholic High School League, finishing fourth.

Warren DeLaSalle advanced to the state championship game by defeating Traverse City West, 3-1. Starter Nino Puckett allowed two hits and seven walks in six innings. Puckett led the team in starts this year. Heading into the semifinal, he was 4-5 with a 2.45 era. His 62 strikeouts led the team.

Easton Sikorski, a sophomore, was the team’s second busiest starter. He started in eight games and pitched in 14 games. He went 7-2 with a 1.84 ERA. He led the team with 61 innings pitched and he gave up just 21 walks. Teams do hit him, though. He gave up 55 hits.

RF Darren Rydzewski has been their leadoff man. He hit only .245 but he had 32 walks. The power hitters are 3B Rob Zurawski. He hit .389 with three homers and 11 doubles. 1B Bryce Bush hit .304 with  four homers, 3 triples and 11 doubles. He scored a team leading 29 runs. Catcher Mac Graybill hit .344. CF Jake Badalamenti scored 26 runs and led the team with seven stolen bases.

In the semifinal, the Pilots were down 1-0 until the fourth inning. Badalamenti hit a two-run single to give the Pilots the lead. DH Mike Kostuch drove in the third run with a single in the sixth. The Pilots managed six hits and three walks.

Warren DeLaSalle’s Possible Lineup

RF Rydzewski .245 32 BBs 21 runs
C Graybill .344 3 3Bs 18 runs
1B Bush .308 4 HRs 11 2Bs 29 runs
3B Zurawski .389 3 HRs 11 2Bs 19 runs
2B Held .283 18 runs
SS Karam .283 18 runs
LF Hyndman .314 20 runs
CF Badalamenti .269 7 SB 26 runs
DH Kostuch .260 5 runs

Warren DeLaSalle Roster

1 1 Nolan Schultz IF/OF 5’7 150 Fr.
2 2 Rob Zurawski 3B/OF 6’0 200 Sr.
3 3 Darren Rydzewski OF/P 5’7 170 Sr.
4 4 Matt Held 2B/P 6’0 195 Sr.
5 5 Mac Graybill C/IF 6’0 160 So.
6 6 Brett Sandora IF/OF 5’7 145 Jr.
9 9 Ben Hyndman P/1B/OF 6’0 180 So.
10 10 Kyle Jones P/1B/OF 6’2 160 So.
11 11 Mike Kostuch C 5’7 185 Sr.
12 12 Easton Sikorski P/IF 6’0 160 So.
14 14 Charles Dunavan P 6’3 220 Sr.
15 15 Mike Karam SS/P 6’2 190 Jr.
19 19 Keegan Kresevich P/1B 6’3 215 Jr.
20 20 Garrett Garbarino IF/OF 5’7 150 Fr.
22 22 Jake Badalamenti OF 5’8 150 So.
18 30 Nino Puckett P/1B 6’0 260 So.
25 25 Bryce Bush 3B 6’0 200 So.

 

2009 MHSAA Baseball
Saline vs Warren DeLaSalle
Jun 13, 2009 at Battle Creek, Mich. (C.O. Brown Stadium)

Saline 2 (34-5)

Player 

 ab 

  r 

  h 

rbi 

 bb 

 so 

 po 

  a 

lob 

 

Korey Gainey cf 

 

Carter Beil rf 

 

Brad Guenther c 

 

Al Zeiher dh/p 

 

Mark Weist ss 

 

Jeff Baublit 1b 

12 

 

Josh Burd 3b 

 

Shawn Allen lf 

 

Andy Frey 2b 

 

  Cameron Keller ph 

 

  Garret Gordon ph 

 

Greg Spiess p 

 

Totals 

26 

18 

14 

 

  

                   

Warren DeLaSalle 3 (36-5)

Player 

 ab 

  r 

  h 

rbi 

 bb 

 so 

 po 

  a 

lob 

 

John DiLaura c 

 

Steve Laudicina rf/cf 

 

Jimmy Martinez 2b 

 

John Martinez cf/ss 

 

Cameron Walker ss/p 

 

Giancarlo Brugnoni 1b/rf 

 

Mike Schypinski p/1b 

 

John Keith dh 

 

Patrick Dulapa 3b 

 

Alex Pierse lf 

 

Totals 

25 

21 

12 

 

 

Score by Innings                  R  H  E

-----------------------------------------

Saline.............. 010 100 0 -  2  7  0

Warren DeLaSalle.... 102 000 X -  3  9  0

-----------------------------------------

 

DP - Pilots 2. LOB - Hornets 4; Pilots 5. 2B - Mark Weist; Brugnoni.

 

Saline  

ip 

er 

bb 

so 

wp 

bk 

hbp 

ibb 

ab 

bf 

fo 

go 

np 

Greg Spiess L 

3.1 

17 

18 

69 

                               

Al Zeiher  

2.2 

29 

  

                             

Warren DeLaSalle  

ip 

er 

bb 

so 

wp 

bk 

hbp 

ibb 

ab 

bf 

fo 

go 

np 

Mike Schypinski

3.1 

14 

15 

54 

                               

Cameron Walker W

3.2 

12 

12 

45 

                               

 

Win - Walker. Loss - Spiess. WP - Spiess; Schypinski 2. Inherited runners/scored: Al Zeiher 1/0; Walker 2/1. Pitches/strikes: Spiess 69/42; Al Zeiher 29/18; Schypinski 54/32; Walker 45/34.

Umpires - HP: Duane Luedecking 1B: Craig Wotta 2B: Todd Willis 3B: Mark 
Start: 9:35 AM Time: 1:50 Attendance: 466 
Weather: 62, Cloudy, Winds calm Game notes: 2009 MHSAA Division 1 Baseball Final Warren DeLaSalle wins third state title (1993, 2000, 2009) Saline loses in state final for second year in a row

 

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Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore founded The Saline Post on Aug. 15, 2012. Follow him on Twitter at @tranlongmoore. Follow The Saline Post @thesalinepost. Follow The Saline Post on Facebook by clicking here.