The Orchard Lake St. Mary's baseball team celebrates after winning the D-2 state championship. The Eaglets defeated Grand Rapids Catholic Central 8-1.

The Orchard Lake St. Mary's baseball team celebrates after winning the D-2 state championship. The Eaglets defeated Grand Rapids Catholic Central 8-1.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Orchard Lake St. Mary's baseball claims D-2 state title

Eaglets cap off incredible turnaround

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published June 15, 2019

 Orchard Lake St. Mary's Alex Mooney celebrates after getting a hit in the D-2 state championship game against Grand Rapids Catholic Central. Mooney had three hits in the game.

Orchard Lake St. Mary's Alex Mooney celebrates after getting a hit in the D-2 state championship game against Grand Rapids Catholic Central. Mooney had three hits in the game.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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EAST LANSING –– After splitting a pair of games April 17, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s baseball was sitting with a record of 8-9.

The Eaglets were stuck in a back-and-forth between winning baseball and slipping to .500. But they knew they were better than what the results were showing.

The coaching staff challenged the team’s leaders to fix the problem and find a rhythm. It didn’t take long for those leaders to respond.

“We were really struggling,” Eaglets coach Matt Petry said. “We knew with the talent we had that it was kind of inexcusable the way we were playing. We just challenged guys to … lead better and want to be the guy that is on the mound or at the plate in clutch situations, and we got a lot better after that.”

Soon thereafter, St. Mary’s found that rhythm and began to string together multiple wins. After that mid-April loss, the Eaglets wouldn’t lose a game the rest of the year.

The Eaglets capped off their turnaround with an 8-1 win over Grand Rapids Catholic Central June 15 in the Division 2 state championship game.

The championship is the fourth in program history and first since 2015.

“For it to come to a culmination here with a state championship is awesome,” Petry said. “I just can’t give the kids enough credit for sticking with it and still believing in themselves, and finding a way to overcome our early adversity.”

Clicking on all cylinders

After Logan Wood hurled six shutout innings in the semifinals, the Eaglets turned to Brock Porter in the state final.

The freshman didn’t disappoint, tossing six innings, giving up five hits and just 1 run. He also struck out seven. Senior Dillon Kark closed out the game in the seventh, needing just eight pitches.

“Once we got the run support, I could just throw strikes and throw my best the whole time,” Porter said. “I had no nerves. I could just throw strikes. It was great.”

At the plate, the Eaglets collected 12 hits, with Alex Mooney and Nolan Schubart each having multi-hit games. Mooney added two RBIs.

“I was just trying to do what I could do to help us win,” Mooney said. “If it was getting hits or laying bunts down, whatever, and it just happened to be getting hits today.”

A season to remember

With the win, St. Mary’s ends the year with a 34-9-2 record, while claiming the Catholic High School League regular season title and CHSL tournament title.

During the Eaglets’ postseason run, they outscored their opponents 58-15. This was the program’s second state title under Petry.

“The dogpile hurt quite a lot, but it was really worth it. It was really cool,” said Kark, who was on the mound for the final out.

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