Attention Readers
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, C & G Newspapers has temporarily suspended its print publications. We look forward to resuming our print operation in the coming weeks. In the meantime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you stay healthy and safe.

Foley revving up for title defense with game against Marine City

By: Mike Moore | Madison - Park News | Published May 11, 2012

 Sophomore Brad Baldwin backhands the ball at second base during a practice earlier this season. The Ventures are gearing up to defend their D-3 title with a May 22 game against Marine City.

Sophomore Brad Baldwin backhands the ball at second base during a practice earlier this season. The Ventures are gearing up to defend their D-3 title with a May 22 game against Marine City.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement

MADISON HEIGHTS — A year ago, the Madison Heights Bishop Foley baseball team was considered by many one of the best in the state.

A year later, and despite a drastic roster turnover, not much has changed.

Aside from, of course, the target the Ventures now wear on their backs as defending Division 3 state champs.

So, as the 2012 postseason approaches, Foley skipper Buster Sunde is doing everything in his power to have his current crop of kids as ready as possible for what is sure to be a grueling title defense.

And that preparation includes a May 22 home game with Marine City High.

“We’re really looking forward to the challenge of playing a team like that,” Sunde said of Marine City, which he said was 18-3 at press time. Foley was 24-3 and riding an eight-game winning streak. “They’ve had a strong baseball program for a long time, and a game like that is only going to help both teams.”

The Ventures don’t shy away from a good challenge. On May 15, the guys took on Brother Rice (21-2) in a game played after press time.

Foley begins play in the Catholic League playoffs May 19. The opponent was not known at press time.

But scheduling a single game against Marine City, set for 4:30 p.m. at Foley, gives Foley the opportunity to see an unfamiliar opponent in a four-ball, three-strike game, just like the state tournament will be. Catholic League games are three balls for a walk and two strikes for an out.

“When you have the chance to jump up and play a quality school, a big program that is very, very good, it gives your guys the chance to compete at a different level,” Sunde said. “You see how tough games are going to be down the stretch, and you see how consistent you have to battle every inning to earn a win.”

The state playoffs officially begin May 29, and Foley has already proven it is capable of defending its title

That fact is more impressive considering the Ventures graduated nine seniors from the 2011 squad.

“That was tough. We had to learn some new things and get some younger guys up to speed,” Sunde said. “It’s been a different approach, manufacturing runs more than we had to before, but the guys are getting it. The pitching has been strong, and we’ve put a premium on defense.”

With a lighter schedule remaining before the tournament begins, Sunde said he doesn’t plan on tackling the Marine City game like a typical non-league game, where he may start a secondary pitcher or shift guys around defensively.

“We’ll go at it with our top three arms and play to win,” Sunde said. “This time of year, you want to win every game. That’s the mentality you want your guys to have.”

Advertisement