Groves baseball accomplishes first mission of winning OAA White

By: Mike Moore | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published May 26, 2017

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BIRMINGHAM — In a move that is hardly unique, the Birmingham Groves baseball team gathered before the start of the season to establish a set of goals.

While contending for a state title was of the loftiest matter, winning an Oakland Activities Association White Division crown was at the forefront.

The Falcons saw that goal come to fruition in 2017.

“Winning the league is that first steppingstone to measure a successful year,” coach Shawn Morrison said. “When you sit down at the start of the season, you make that list of goals. The ones that are results-based include winning a league, a district and a state title. That’s what you aim for.”

And that’s what Groves was able to do.

The Falcons were 29-6 at press time and closed play in the White with a 13-2 mark. Birmingham Seaholm was next-best at 10-4.

“It means a lot to these guys,” Morrison said. “It’s another trophy in the case. Obviously, we have some other things we want to accomplish, but this is something to be proud of.”

Groves just missed out a year ago, finishing 12-3 in the White while Farmington High won the division at 13-2.

But most of that team was back this spring, and Morrison said he knew from the start that this was possible.

His guys went out and proved their skipper right.

“When it was all said and done, we were able to battle through some adversity,” he said. “When we were down, we battled back. When we got ahead, we were able to close games out. … Our pitching was excellent. We had a low ERA. We had a low (walks and hits per inning pitched). There was a strand of games where we scored double digits every game. So the guys bought into the offensive side of things as well.”

Groves began the state playoffs with a May 30 contest against Bloomfield Hills High after press time. The winner of that game faces Birmingham Brother Rice at 10 a.m. June 3 at Troy High.

The other side of the bracket features Seaholm and Troy doing battle at noon the same day, with the championship game set for 2 p.m.

Still, speaking a few days before the postseason started, Morrison was enjoying what his guys had done.

“You set goals, but the cool thing is actually doing it,” he explained. “A goal is unsatisfied until they accomplish it. That was our mindset all year long.”

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