Divine Child baseball advances to state semifinals with win over Lutheran North

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published June 13, 2017

NOVI — The Dearborn Divine Child baseball team secured its second straight trip to the Division 2 state semifinals with a 6-2 win over Macomb Lutheran North in a June 13 state quarterfinal.

The Falcons (23-19) advance to take on Bay City John Glenn at 5 p.m. June 15 at Michigan State University. The D-2 title game is at 11:30 a.m. June 17 at MSU.

A big first inning helped Divine Child move to within two wins of a state title. The Falcons scored five runs in the top of the first. All four of the run-scoring hits were singles. Seniors Scott Combs, Connor Breen, Dillon Champagne and junior Garrett Scalf all drove in runs.

"Our lineup is strong," Divine Child coach Dan Deegan said. "We've got table setters up top. The middle of the order is strong, and the bottom of our lineup can produce. That's how we're able to have innings like that."

Champagne, who also picked up the win for Divine Child, drove in two runs with his first-inning hit. Champagne also put his team up 6-0 with a double to left field in the bottom of the sixth that scored a run.

He went six innings, allowed five hits, two walks, one run and struck out eight.

"(Champagne) is a big-time player who's used to big-time games," Deegan said. "He just knows how to play."

The Mustangs (24-11-1) looked to mount a comeback late. Senior Kevin Kapanowski singled to right field to score a run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Falcons lead to 6-1. Lutheran North junior Carter Moldenhauer scored after senior Ryan Kavulick was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

"(Divine Child) had a big inning and was able to get to us early," Lutheran North coach Steve Herbst said. "We were able to do some things later in the game, but it wasn't enough. I know they out-hit us, but I don't think they had more quality hits than us."

Lutheran North this season won its first district title since 2010 and fourth overall. The Mustangs downed Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day 19-5 June 10 to win the program's first regional championship.

The Mustangs lose eight players to graduation and have 11 eligible to return next season.

"I tell them that programs are built in small steps. We've been working to build something here, and this season we took a big step," Herbst said. "We were led by a great group of seniors who led the charge from day one. Hopefully the guys who stick around can learn from them and we can keep building."