Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s Logan King goes to throw the ball during an April 4 practice. Liggett was ranked No. 1 in D-3 in the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association preseason poll.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s Logan King goes to throw the ball during an April 4 practice. Liggett was ranked No. 1 in D-3 in the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association preseason poll.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Liggett baseball returns as one of state’s best

By: Zachary Manning | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 9, 2019

GROSSE POINTES — Over the last decade, the Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett baseball program has become a state power.

Since 2010, the Knights have won four state championships (2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016) and have missed the state semifinals just three times.

Entering this season, expectations are again high for coach Dan Cimini’s squad. In the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association preseason poll, Liggett was ranked No. 1 in Division 3. Liggett is back in D-3 after spending the last two seasons playing in D-1.

“That’s where we want to be. That’s where we want to live. We love being up at Michigan State (for the state final) and being there and doing that kind of stuff, so that’s the goal,” Cimini said of the ranking.

Despite moving back to D-3, Liggett is going to be playing top-notch competition. Cimini said his group isn’t afraid to play anyone in the state.

Along with playing Catholic High School League games, the Knights will battle multiple D-1 teams over the course of the season to prepare themselves for another deep playoff run.

Some players who will try and help guide this team back to a title are pitchers Alec Azar and Logan King, shortstop Billy Kopicki, catcher Patrick Ilitch, third baseman Kellen Banaszewski, second baseman Matthew Greene and outfielder Nick Post.

The Knights believe they will be a good hitting and defensive team and are very confident heading into the season.

“We have a great group of guys. It’s a lot of fun watching them compete and work hard, especially this early in the season,” Kopicki said. “Our expectations are pretty high. Trying to make it back to the state championship has been a goal for a lot of us seniors since making it there as freshmen and eventually winning it. Every day, we talk about making it back to the state championship and just taking it one day at a time.”

The Knights know the expectations of playing for a top program and have embraced being one of the top teams in the state. After falling short the last two years, being able to lift a trophy at the end of the season would be special.

“That’d be a dream come true, honestly. Freshman year, we won it. That was a lot of fun. I was on varsity. I wasn’t playing though, so being a part of a team where I’m on the field and playing, especially with this group of boys, would just be a dream come true,” Banaszewski said.

Up next, the Knights take the field for a doubleheader April 13 at home against defending D-3 state champion Riverview Gabriel Richard. The first game will start at 2 p.m.