Gaishin's shutout leads Stevensville Lakeshore past John Glenn in D-2 Final for first title since 1990
East Lansing – Throughout the postseason, Stevensville Lakeshore proved to be one of the top offensive teams in the state heading into Saturday’s Division 2 state final.
But on Tuesday, the Lancers proved that their pitching isn’t something that can be ignored either.
Lakeshore managed just one run on two hits in the Division 2 final against Bay City John Glenn, but that would be all the Lancers would need as senior starter Max Gaishin pitched a complete game shutout to lead Lakeshore to a 1-0 win and the team’s first title since 1990.
Gaishin said that he was able to settle in early, which allowed him to continue gaining confidence throughout the game, and also credited John Glenn starter Alex Dingee, who was equally impressive on Saturday.
“You just try to get in a rhythm as fast as you can, work as fast as you can, they did a good job of trying to keep me out of that,” he said. “Their pitcher did an outstanding job, he was in a rhythm almost the entire game just keeping us to two hits, but we just got the two we needed.”
Lakeshore’s lone run of the game came in the third inning when Sean Branch connected for a one-out triple and would come across to score shortly after on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ryan Remus to put the Lancers ahead 1-0.
Lakeshore skipper Mark Nate credited Dingee for limiting his team to its lowest offensive output of the season and also added that he didn’t think his team’s early run would be enough to hold on for the win.
“We had two hits and I’ll bet that’s the least amount of hits we’ve had all year in 44 games, so their pitcher did an outstanding job, kept us off balance,” he said. “Give credit to my third base coach for sending the guy to third and that was the difference in the game because if he was on second base, he doesn’t score and he took the chance. He got in there, we got the fly ball and we got the one run and when that came across I didn’t think that was going to be enough, but I’m glad it was.”
Gaishin allowed just six hits over his seven innings of work and recorded five strikeouts to earn the win, while Dingee threw just 56 pitches in his six innings of work, allowing just two hits and tallied two strikeouts in the loss for the Bobcats.
Finding himself in the middle of a pitcher’s duel, Gaishin said that he knew he had to pitch with confidence throughout the game and also praised his team’s defense behind him.
“You just got to stay focused,” he said. “Your mentality has to be to go out there with confidence and know that your pitches are going to work for you and then just having flat out confidence in your defense, which I’ve been preaching is the most important thing to do. If you have confidence in your defense rather than trying to be a perfect pitcher, that doesn’t always win you games.”
Nate cited Gaishin’s ability to keep hitters off balance with his fastball and curveball throughout the game and added that with Gaishin’s pitch count rising, he threw a curveball to get the final out of the game on what would have been the final batter he would face, regardless of the outcome of the at bat.
“Max had his number two pitch going, he only threw the changeup twice – it wasn’t effective,” he said. “So we just stuck with off balance with the fastball and the curveball and trying to keep them off balance, throwing a guy one way his first time up and the second time we come back a different way and that last hitter there where Max threw a strike, he hadn’t seen a curveball all day and it just fell right into place.”