Birmingham, Orchard Lake
Brother Rice beats St. Mary's 7-1, claims third straight Catholic League title
By Mike Moore
Posted May 15, 2014
DETROIT — In the days leading up the 2014 Catholic League championship, Brother Rice coach Bob Riker talked about how unique it could be for his guys, should they find a way to do something the program had never done before.
In the moments immediately following Thursday afternoon’s 7-1 victory against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in the A-B Division title game, Riker was able to speak about the history his squad realized.
“This is pretty special, for our school, for our program and for these kids,” Riker said of Rice’s win and third consecutive league title. “For some of these guys, they’ve been part of all three. Some have never done it before. That’s what makes this so great.”
In the bottom of the first, Nick Plummer reached on an error and then scored moments later on a Randy Righter triple.
Righter then scored when Matt Ruppenthal flied out to right field.
Sammy Stevens ripped an RBI single in the bottom of the second to push the lead to 3-0.
St. Mary’s got back in the game in the top of the fifth when Devin Rose slammed an RBI single and chased Ruppenthal from the mound.
But the Eaglets were unable to get anything else in the inning, and in the bottom of the fifth, Rice put the game away.
Davis Feldman reached on an infield single, and then on an error that should have been a double play, Righter reached first.
Ruppenthal ripped an RBI single, followed by Alex Malzone’s two-RBI single, and then a Bobby Cross sacrifice fly capped the scoring.
“We hit the ball when we had to, and we made fewer mistakes. That was the difference,” Riker said. “I really liked how our guys approached things. When we had the chance, we pushed some runs across.”
Ruppenthal finished the day with two RBI from the dish, but more notably, started on the mound for Rice for the third straight year in the league final.
He finished with six strikeouts in four-plus innings of work.
“It means a lot to me,” he said. “To be on that mound, and in this atmosphere, it’s something I’ll never forget.”
Rice is now 28-2-1.
St. Mary's falls to 15-14.
About the author
Sports Writer Mike Moore covers a variety of sports in Oakland County and the Detroit Catholic League. Mike joined C & G Newspapers in 2006 shortly after graduating from Albion College where he played football. He attended Dearborn Divine Child where he met his wife Jennifer. They have four sons together and reside in Dearborn.
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