Royal OakJune 13, 2012
Season of 24 wins and appearance in regional final nothing to scoff at
By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer
GROSSE POINTE WOODS — A win here, against this team, would have been monumental — for a building program and for the entire makeup of the 2012 playoff bracket.
But Cinderella wasn’t in Grosse Pointe Woods June 9, and for the Royal Oak Shrine baseball team, an upset never materialized.
“We just ran out of gas,” coach Dan Noble said following a 12-0 loss to Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett in a Division 4 regional final. Liggett has been the top-ranked team in D-4 all year and is expected by most to defend its 2011 state crown. “We kicked the ball around too much, weren’t strong enough defensively and just couldn’t get the offense going. Those aren’t good combinations in a game this big.”
Of course, playing a team like Liggett can cause headaches for just about anyone.
Liggett is deep, powerful and can strike from any spot in the lineup, evident by a fourth inning that saw a 3-0 game quickly turn to 7-0.
Shrine’s bats never warmed up, either, finding just three hits against right-handed hurler Alex Daar.
Still, as he reflected back on the season, one that feature a 24-8 record and second consecutive district title, Noble wasn’t about to let one loss deflect all the good that had come about.
“There’s a lot to be proud of with this team,” he said about his squad, which beat Lutheran Westland 13-3 in the regional semifinal. “We had great leadership, a lot of success from the start on, and it was a great experience for these guys. … I’m real proud of what they did here, the things we accomplished, and the work they put in to get here.”
With seven seniors set to graduate, though, Noble knows that work must continue for similar success to find itself in 2013.
“We’re losing a lot, some real good guys,” he said. “But at the same time, we started a freshman, three sophomores and two juniors this year, so the cabinets aren’t empty. We’ll have some good pieces in place coming back, and we’ll get after it as soon as we can.”