Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Jasen Oliver (14) is greeted by teammates after hitting a home run May 29 in a road game against Grosse Pointe South. The Eaglets won the game 11-0 to improve to 36-1 overall on the season.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Jasen Oliver (14) is greeted by teammates after hitting a home run May 29 in a road game against Grosse Pointe South. The Eaglets won the game 11-0 to improve to 36-1 overall on the season.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Orchard Lake St. Mary’s set to defend 2019 state title

By: Jacob Herbert | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published June 4, 2021 | Updated June 8, 2021 12:10pm

 St. Mary’s Alex Mooney turns a double play during a recent game against Grosse Pointe South. The Eaglets were set to play their first playoff game June 5, after press time, against Hazel Park High in a Division 2 district semifinal.

St. Mary’s Alex Mooney turns a double play during a recent game against Grosse Pointe South. The Eaglets were set to play their first playoff game June 5, after press time, against Hazel Park High in a Division 2 district semifinal.

Photo by Deb Jacques

UPDATE: The Eaglets won their district June 5 with a 10-1 win over Beverly Hills Country Day. Next up, OLSM hosts Warren Fitzgerald at 4:30 p.m. June 9 in a regional semifinal. 

 
WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — The Orchard Lake St. Mary’s baseball team capped off its 2019 season with a Division 2 state title by way of a 8-1 victory over Grand Rapids Catholic Central. It was the program’s second state title since 2015.

As the 2020 season rolled around, the Eaglets were hungry to take the field for a shot at back-to-back titles. However, the season was ultimately canceled due to COVID-19.

“I felt for the seniors who didn’t get to finish their high school careers,” Eaglets player Alex Mooney said. “For me, I was just staying in the weight room and hitting every day. Just trying to get ready for the next season because you can’t really change what happened.”

OLSM coach Matt Petry said the team was obviously disappointed that the season was canceled, as several seniors were unable to have their shot at a title defense. All of that was turned into motivation this year for a team that finished the regular season 36-1 overall and 22-0 in the Catholic High School League Central Division.

“I think, with the way the season ended last year, everybody across the state was ready to go and our guys are no different,” Petry said. “We’re excited to play and we’re excited to be with each other. I think our season this year is a testament to that. We’re not taking anything for granted.”

Petry said he knew the team was primed to have a good season with the amount of experience they had coming back. Several sophomores from the 2019 team are now senior leaders. Players like Jack Crighton, Nolan Schubart, Jake Dresselhouse and Mooney, who is a projected first-round pick in this year’s MLB Draft, have been asked to do a lot this season and have answered the call.

“The guys play hard, and I think they really enjoy being around each other,” Petry said. “They feed off each other. They’re not individuals where they’re just rooting for themselves to have success. I think they’re pulling for one another. We’ve had some close games over the past couple weeks and have gotten big hits from a lot of different people, and I think that they’re happy to see each other’s success.”

With the regular season ending, the Eaglets now turn their attention to the postseason. They were scheduled to open the playoffs against Hazel Park High June 5, after press time, in a Division 2 district semifinal game.

In the days before that first playoff game, Petry said the team was working on fundamentals. The team is confident in both their hitting and pitching, with junior Brock Porter leading the rotation.

“We throw lots of strikes,” Porter said. “We have a lot of power arms so we throw hard. A lot of us have good off-speed pitches so we just dominate hitters with velocity, and we attack them with strikes.”

As a team, the Eaglets pitching staff boasts a 1.37 earned runs average and a .973 win percentage. Porter is 9-0 this season with a .63 ERA. Senior Tommy Allman carries a .98 ERA, and freshman Parker Brzustewicz has a .75 ERA in five appearances this season.

The Eaglets know what type of road is ahead of them in the playoffs. They’ve been there and done that two years ago. For Mooney, that win or go home mentality is where his motivation comes from.

“I think we just need to play as a team like we have all year,” he said. “We just have to bring energy every single day like it’s our last game.”