Utica Ford II baseball coach Derek Ganfield said his team showed fight all season long.
That fighting spirit was no more evident than during the Falcons’ 12-10 eight-inning loss to Warren De La Salle June 9 at Macomb L’Anse Creuse North in a Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 regional semifinal.
Ford II (15-15) was down 10-4 to the Pilots going into the bottom of the fifth inning before battling back to knot the game at 10 after seven innings. De La Salle plated two runs in the top of the eighth to take a 12-10 lead and went on to win the game in eight innings.
The Pilots went on to win the regional and advanced to the state semifinals in Battle Creek, played after press time.
“We’d been down before, so we knew we could make a run to get back in the game,” Ganfield said following the loss. “It was just tough to come all the way back after digging a hole that deep. But these guys battled today, and I’m proud of them for that.”
Ford II senior pitcher Mac Forsyth, who started in the regional semifinal, was sad to see his prep career end, but agreed with Ganfield that the team had a never-say-die attitude.
“We just kept playing all year. We never got down on ourselves when we’d get behind because we knew anything could happen,” said Forsyth, a three-year member of the varsity squad.
The Falcons made a somewhat improbable run to the regional round.
Ford II went into the postseason with a 12-14 record and won three games to capture the school’s first district title since 2007.
Ganfield said he thinks his team can have even more success next year. The Falcons lose seven seniors from the 18-man roster, but the coach believes underclassmen, such as sophomore pitcher Jordan Luzod, and JV tournament call-ups will step in a perform admirably.
“I think they’ll have a chance to do some damage next year,” Forsyth said.