Photo by Erin Sanchez The Utica Eisenhower baseball team looks on from its home dugout during a contest earlier this season. At press time, Ike held a 23-13 overall record after earning a Division 1 district title via a 9-2 win over Rochester High June 2.

Photo by Erin Sanchez The Utica Eisenhower baseball team looks on from its home dugout during a contest earlier this season. At press time, Ike held a 23-13 overall record after earning a Division 1 district title via a 9-2 win over Rochester High June 2.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Behind strong pitching, Ike earns baseball district title

By: Timothy Pontzer | Shelby - Utica News | Published June 4, 2018

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Utica Eisenhower recently won the program’s first Division 1 district title since 2015, winning its three postseason contests by a combined 18-2 margin.

In the district opener against Rochester Adams May 29, Ike turned to senior John Fantauzzo and sophomore Colin Seeling. The pitching duo combined for a complete-game shutout while recording 11 strikeouts.

Rochester Hills Stoney Creek served as the district host and semifinal opponent for the Eagles June 2. Once again, Fantauzzo was put on the mound. He took a perfect game into the fifth inning before finishing with a complete-game two-hit shutout as Ike claimed a 3-0 decision over the Cougars.

In the final later in the afternoon, Seeling delivered the clincher. Hurling a complete game, Seeling allowed six hits in a 9-2 win over Rochester High.

“We are ecstatic to take a very difficult district as champs,” first-year Ike coach Steve Spisak said. “We started the season with four goals. We wanted to win a (Macomb Area Conference) Red (Division) championship, which we fell just short of. Next, we wanted to win a district, regional and state championship. Our second goal was reached today, and we’re still alive for goals three and four.”

Senior second baseman Ben Mets led the way at the plate for the Eagles, going a combined 8 for 11 in district play with two home runs and four doubles.

“We have a 23-man army, and all 23 guys were engaged and ready,” Spisak said. “I can’t say enough good things about my assistants, Dan Tallant and Steve Barrett. They come to work every day and make my job very easy.”

Ike will head to the regional round, facing Birmingham Brother Rice in a semifinal at 12:30 p.m. June 9 at Lake Orion High. On the other side of the bracket, Troy High will play Waterford Mott.

At press time, the Eagles were 23-13.

“We’re a very confident team heading into regionals,” Spisak explained. “Every team we play from here on out will be great, and we’ve played our best baseball this year against great teams. We’re excited and ready for the next challenge that tournament brings our way. I’m very proud of everyone.”

Utica High hosted its district, falling 2-0 to Macomb Dakota in a semifinal June 2. The Chieftains closed the campaign at 16-20 overall.


In other local sports
In soccer, Ike fell 2-1 to Rochester Adams in a district final at Rochester High. Earlier in the bracket, the Eagles topped Rochester and Lake Orion High. Ike finished the year at 16-2-3 with a 7-0-1 mark in the Red to clinch a league title.

Utica fell to host Utica Ford II 3-0 in a district semifinal May 31. The club was 9-10-2 on the season.

In softball, Ike lost to Stoney Creek 8-1 in a district semifinal. The team went 19-13 overall. Ford topped district host Utica 13-7 in a pre-district match May 29. The Chieftains closed out the campaign at 9-13.

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