Young St. Mary’s baseball team ends season at regional round

By: Mike Moore, | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published June 16, 2017

ORCHARD LAKE — Matt Petry began the 2017 baseball season with an understanding that patience would be required.

The Orchard Lake St. Mary’s skipper ended the spring expecting that patience to yield some big results by this time next year.

“We’ll be moving to Division 2, and with the guys we have coming back, I see us as a legitimate state championship contender,” the Eaglets coach said last week. “There’s a lot of potential we’ll have coming back.”

 St. Mary’s Cole Sibley rips into a pitch. The Eaglets could bring back most of their roster next spring.

St. Mary’s Cole Sibley rips into a pitch. The Eaglets could bring back most of their roster next spring.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

This year’s spring campaign came to a close for the Eaglets in the D-1 regional semifinal June 10 in a 12-2 loss to Northville High at Novi High.

“We just walked too many guys, and a team like Northville puts pressure on the defense with the bunt, the hit-and-run, and so on,” Petry said. “They got guys on and took advantage of it.”

The loss ended the Eaglets’ season with an 18-21 record.

“It was up and down,” Petry said. “At the same time, we knew coming into the year we’d be a very young team. We had freshmen and sophomores at some key positions. And some of the limited veterans we did have battled injuries.”

Playing in the Central Division of the Catholic High School League didn’t help the record either.

The Eaglets struggled with their young roster while taking on more veteran teams, though outside the league the guys in red and white went 13-5.

That included a district title.

“Once we got healthy and started to mature, the guys really came together,” Petry said. “Winning a district title certainly sets us up nicely for the future. To win with a young group of guys who got to experience playoff baseball is nice. … I like this team a lot moving forward. We’ll have some injured guys back in the mix and some great experience to build on.”