North, South and Liggett baseball to compete at the same district tournament

By: Mark Vest | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 29, 2018

 Grosse Pointe North’s Ryan Shanley slides into home May 19 against Algonac High. For the second consecutive year, North, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett and Grosse Pointe South will all compete in the same district tournament.

Grosse Pointe North’s Ryan Shanley slides into home May 19 against Algonac High. For the second consecutive year, North, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett and Grosse Pointe South will all compete in the same district tournament.

Photo by Sean Work

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GROSSE POINTES —  You would be hard-pressed to find a more challenging or intriguing baseball playoff district in the metro area than the one that will be hosted by Grosse Pointe Woods University on June 2.

The district features three local teams in Liggett, Grosse Pointe North and Grosse Pointe South. At one point or another this year, all three have been ranked among the top 10 Division 1 teams in the state by the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association.

All three programs can also lay claim to being previous state champions.

In the most recent MHSBCA rankings, Liggett is ranked No. 2 in the state.

After having won four state championships at the D-3 and D-4 levels over the course of the last decade, this will be Liggett’s second consecutive year competing as a D-1 program in the playoffs.

“Who would’ve (thought) a few years ago that we’d be hosting a district with North and South, and us in a Division 1 district?,” said Liggett coach Dan Cimini. “We’re excited, and we’re up for the challenge. It should be a fun, fun day.”

North coach Frank Sumbera said the district is “as good as it gets.”

“You got three quality baseball programs in it,” Sumbera said. “Liggett’s had an outstanding year; South’s done real well. Our baseball team has battled throughout the whole year. So, I think three quality teams are (going to) face off; see what happens.”

For as good as all three local squads are, South coach Dan Griesbaum would have preferred that they not all end up in the same district.

“It certainly brings up the case for seeding, somewhat, like they do in terms of football,” Griesbaum said. “The most points plays the least points and that kind (of) thing. … It certainly would be good if the state could somehow move some things around once in a while to accommodate this type of situation. There are certain teams, for instance, that have cakewalks to the regional because their district is so easy every year.”

North, South and Liggett also competed in the same district last season.

The Norsemen beat South 5-2 in a semifinal contest before losing to Liggett 7-2 in the final.

The Knights made it to the semifinal round of the playoffs, where they lost to the eventual state champions, Saline High.

As for this year, all three teams have a first-round bye.

North and South will have a district semifinal rematch at 10 a.m., with Liggett and Eastpointe High set to face off in semifinal action at noon.

The championship game is at 2 p.m.
 

Local softball district draws
All three local teams have received a first-round bye.

North and South will both compete at a tournament June 2, hosted by Liggett.

The Norsemen play at 10 a.m. in a D-1 semifinal against St. Clair Shores Lakeview.

South plays at 11:30 a.m. in semifinal action against Eastpointe.

The final is at 1 p.m.

Last year, North beat South 7-6 in a district final before going on to lose to Garden City High in a regional final.

In D-4, Liggett plays at 12:30 p.m. June 2 at tournament host Sterling Heights Parkway Christian in a semifinal against either Academy of the Americas or Detroit Southeastern.

The other teams in the district are Parkway Christian, Marine City Cardinal Mooney and Hope of Detroit.

The final is at 3 p.m.

Last season, after winning a fifth consecutive regional championship, Liggett lost to Monroe St. Mary Catholic 5-0 in a D-3 quarterfinal.

The girls soccer teams from North, South and Liggett were all scheduled to compete in first-round district tournament games May 29, after press time.

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