Bishop Foley's baseball season ends with loss in Division 3 state final

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published June 16, 2018

 Madison Heights Bishop Foley baseball players are pictured at a Division 3 state final against Riverview Gabriel Richard. The Ventures' season ended with a 3-0 loss.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley baseball players are pictured at a Division 3 state final against Riverview Gabriel Richard. The Ventures' season ended with a 3-0 loss.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

 

EAST LANSING — Following his team’s 3-0 win against Madison Heights Bishop Foley in a Division 3 baseball state final at McLane Stadium on the campus of Michigan State University June 16, Riverview Gabriel Richard coach Mike Magier had some words with his pitcher, Matthew Silka.

 

“I’m like, ‘you couldn’t finish the no-hitter,’” Magier said with a laugh.

 

Silka was indeed the story of the game.

 

With his team up 3-0 in the last half of the seventh inning, Silka was three outs away from the first no-hitter in state final history until Foley sophomore Liam Pollock got a base hit.

 

Following that hit Silka was able to close out the game and help deliver his team the program’s first-ever state championship. It was the fifth complete-game one-hitter at a state final.

 

“He’s been a work horse for us,” Magier said. “He’s got an ERA under one this year. He’s been tough all year. He’s been our ace. He’s pitched against all our tough teams.”

 

Foley coach Tim McEvoy referred to Silka’s fastball as the main issue.

 

“Their pitcher just pounded that zone,” McEvoy said. “He had a nice curve ball to go with a dominant fastball. … We couldn’t catch up to the fastball. That kid is all heart. If I was a college coach I’d be looking to sign him.”

 

Richard scored its first run of the game on a fielder’s choice in the second.

 

The Pioneers added a run on an RBI single by junior Hayden Flynn in the third, and another by sophomore David Zubor in the fourth.

 

Foley finished with an overall record of 19-18-1.

 

“I feel like it was a positive season,” McEvoy said. “We improved as the season went on, and that’s the most important thing in the game is improving.”

 

Foley’s baseball program has built a strong tradition in recent years, which includes a D3 state title last season.

 

This season was McEvoy’s first leading the program.

 

“My first season at Foley, it was a great season,” McEvoy said. "Great administration, great staff over there. I couldn’t (ask) to be more welcome by a group of people.”

 

The problems Silka was able to cause for the Ventures on Saturday could benefit the program next year.

 

“I would say just in terms of learning experience and this game, we (got to) make an adjustment to get out in front of the fastball earlier in the game,” McEvoy said. “We were too late on the fastball. The fastball got too deep on us, and that showed up with ground balls to the right side.”

 

Although it was a disappointing end, McEvoy was able to reflect on the journey along the way.

 

“Just making this run in the state playoffs was a highlight,” McEvoy said. “Getting on a little winning streak, that was a great highlight. And watching great baseball players play was very enjoyable.”