Sterling HeightsJune 11, 2012
Ford II baseball team wins first district title since 2007
By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer
To have a chance at a .500 record, the Utica Ford II baseball team needed to win its Division 1 Michigan High School Athletic Association district tournament.
The Falcons did just that, winning three games to capture the school’s first baseball district title since 2007.
“This title is something the players and coaches will be able to treasure for a long time,” said Ford II coach Derek Ganfield, in his eighth year as coach of the Falcons (15-14).
“For these guys to battle the way they did says a lot about the character of the guys on this team. For what transpired … and for us to come back the way we did, I’ve never seen anything like that.”
In the June 2 district final, Ford II trailed Stevenson 4-0 as they headed into the top of the seventh inning. The Falcons fought back to tie the game before winning 8-4 in extra innings.
“It was almost surreal,” Ganfield said.
Ford II played its regional matchup after press time. If the Falcons survive the regional and state quarterfinal rounds, they would play in a Division 1 state semifinal, set for June 15 in Battle Creek.
Ford II advanced to the district final by knocking off Chippewa Valley 6-3 May 29 in a district quarterfinal. The Falcons eliminated Sterling Heights High June 1 with a 2-0 win to reach the district championship game.
“Our district was made up of a lot of teams from the (Macomb Area Conference Red and White divisions), so we thought we’d be able to play with anybody,” Ganfield said. “All the teams we played are well-coached, even though some don’t have great records, so winning the title wasn’t easy.”
Ganfield said sophomore pitcher Jordan Luzod played a major role in Ford’s district-title run. The sophomore, in his first year as a varsity pitcher, threw a complete game in the district tournament.
“(Luzod) has pitched well all year for us,” Ganfield said, adding that senior pitcher/center fielder Mack Forsyth has paced the team’s lineup in 2012.
“What makes this so special is that this is a great group of kids. They’re more than just baseball players,” Ganfield said. “Having a group like this makes my job easier, because they know what to do on and off the field.