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Eaglets return plenty of talent as baseball season takes flight

By: Mike Moore | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published March 30, 2018

 Logan Wood pitches for Orchard Lake St. Mary’s March 26 during a home game against Rochester Adams. The Eaglets won 10-2.

Logan Wood pitches for Orchard Lake St. Mary’s March 26 during a home game against Rochester Adams. The Eaglets won 10-2.

Photo by Sean Work

 Blake Bean tries to get back to third base. The Eaglets are looking to build from their 18 victories last spring.

Blake Bean tries to get back to third base. The Eaglets are looking to build from their 18 victories last spring.

Photo by Sean Work

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ORCHARD LAKE — Just two years removed from a state championship, this was the official reboot.

When the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s baseball team took the field last spring, the squad did so with a revamped roster of players, many too young to drive.

There were ups and downs, struggles and progressions, and by the end of the season, Matt Petry had guided his group to 18 wins and a spot in the regional round.

“We were young, that’s for sure,” Petry recalled of the 2017 team, which started four freshmen and four sophomores at times. “We also had some injuries that didn’t help, but we were able to do some good things — win 18 games and win a district title.”

In many ways, Petry hopes last year’s 18-21 finish was just a small preview of what’s to come in 2018.

“The growth the guys have made over the winter, you just can’t miss,” Petry said. “They’ve gotten bigger and stronger in the offseason. The pitchers’ velocity is up. I mean, we had freshmen and sophomores as serious contributors, and those guys are only better now.”

The Eaglets have four players on their roster who are committed to play at the Division 1 level in college.

Senior third baseman Carter Macias is committed to Army, while junior shortstop Dillon Kark is committed to Michigan State University, sophomore left-handed pitcher Logan Wood verbally committed to the University of Michigan, and freshman second baseman Alex Mooney already is a verbal commit to Duke University.

“We’ve never had four D-1 commits at the same time before,” Petry said. “We’ve had some great players, but the IQ of this group is very similar to the veteran groups we had in 2015 and 2016 when we were winning a lot of games.”

Just how many games this group wins is to be determined.

St. Mary’s rolled past Rochester Adams 10-2 in a season opener March 26, but is sure to be tested all season long in the Catholic High School League’s Central Division.

“Since I came here in 2011, I don’t know that the league has ever been better,” Petry said. “It’s going to test us and get us ready.”

Beyond that, the Eaglets are in a district with Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, which are two other teams poised to have breakout seasons.

“When I first took this job, it was never about having a few good teams. It’s always been about building a program,” Petry said. “We have guys here who can be with this team for a few years. So it’s on us to get these young guys to contribute. If they do that, we could have a very special season.”

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