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Warren

June 13, 2014

De La Salle baseball coach proud of team after run to regional

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
The Warren De La Salle baseball team finished 22-14 and won a Division 1 district title. The Pilots have had a record better than .500 every year since 2003. Pictured is De La Salle senior infielder Matt Minaudo after making a play during a D-1 regional June 7.

FAIR HAVEN — The latest edition of the Warren De La Salle baseball team did a lot to add to the program’s history.

The Pilots finished the season with a 22-14 record and won a Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 district championship. The win total extends a streak of plus-.500 seasons that goes back to 2003. Only one De La Salle team since 1989 has finished with a losing record.

The district title marked the 19th in program history and fifth since 2009. The Pilots couldn’t get the program’s seventh regional title, though, as De La Salle fell 7-2 to Sterling Heights Stevenson in a D-1 regional final June 7 at Anchor Bay.

Titans senior pitcher/outfielder Brandon Hughes came through in a big spot, as his solo home run in the top of the 10th inning provided Stevenson with the winning run. The first five Stevenson batters reached base in the top of 10th inning, as junior Riley McCauley and senior Jacob Rogers recorded two-RBI singles in the frame, as well.

Stevenson fell 2-0 to Grosse Pointe South in a state quarterfinal June 10 at Wayne State University.

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.

De La Salle coach Matt Cook made a point to acknowledge the 11 De La Salle seniors on the roster. That group amassed 79 wins, three district titles, a regional championship and an appearance in the 2012 D-1 state finals.

“I tip my cap to our seniors. I love those guys,” Cook said June 7. “They fought and battled, and did a great job. I told them that it could be them accepting the championship trophy, but someone has to lose.

“They shouldn’t hang their heads about anything. They did a heck of a job and that they should not be ashamed of anything.”

Ten De La Salle players are eligible to return in 2015, including junior pitchers Addison Pawelek and Daniel Michalak, who pitched in the regional round.

“We’ll sit down and talk to the younger guys moving forward. I feel for the seniors right now, knowing this was their last game,” Cook said. “We were in position to win the game a couple of times and came up short.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.