Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s Benjamin Alderson delivers a pitch June 16 in the Division 3 state final against Gabriel Riverview Richard. The Ventures fell 3-0.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s Benjamin Alderson delivers a pitch June 16 in the Division 3 state final against Gabriel Riverview Richard. The Ventures fell 3-0.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Foley’s baseball season ends with loss in D-3 state final

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published June 19, 2018

Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s baseball team’s run at a second straight state championship came to an end June 16 at Michigan State University.

The Ventures fell 3-0 to Riverview Gabriel Richard in the Division 3 state final.

Richard’s pitcher Matthew Silka led the way, giving up just one hit, which came in the final inning of the game. It was only the fifth complete-game one-hitter in a state final. 

“He’s been a workhorse for us,” Riverview coach Mike 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 curveball 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, which includes a D-3 state title last season.

This season was McEvoy’s first leading the program.

“It was a great season,” McEvoy said. “Great administration, great staff over there. I couldn’t (ask) to be more welcomed 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.”