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Banged-up Riverview Gabriel Richard sneaks past Cabrini in CHSL C-D semifinal, heads back to Comerica Park

By: Matthew B. Mowery, May 18, 2019, 9:30 pm

TROY — Riverview Gabriel Richard could use a hand knocking runs in.

And pitching, apparently, as well.

Down a couple of key players with broken hands, the No. 4-ranked Pioneers still had enough to squeak by Allen Park Cabrini, 2-0, in Saturday’s Catholic League C-D tournament semifinal at Brother Rice’s Warrior Park.

But the defending Division 3 champions still aren’t completely in synch, and might not be for the foreseeable future, considering who was out for Saturday’s game.

“We’ve got two guys with broken hands right now. Frank (Klamerus) is all right; he can go in. He can’t hit, but he can throw. (Matthew) Silka’s out for a few more weeks with the cast on. We don’t know when we’ll get him back, yet. … They both happened last week. A day apart,” Pioneers coach Michael Magier said. 

“We’ll have Frank back, obviously. We may not have his bat back, like we’d like to have. We’ll see what the prognosis says. Matthew Silka gets looked at again next week, so hopefully we can have them back for districts, as well.”

Regardless, the Pioneers (15-3) will have their hands full in the C-D championship game at Comerica Park on Friday. In Saturday’s other C-D semifinal, No. 3-ranked Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett beat No. 6-ranked Ann Arbor Greenhills, 6-2. 

Cole Atkinson threw a three-hit shutout for the Pioneers, striking out seven in the win. Twice he stranded runners in scoring position, including in the top of the seventh, when Robert O’Guin and Jonas Raiha had back-to-back two-out singles.

But his counterpart had much more trouble to work around.

The Pioneers stranded eight runners on base in the game, seven of them in scoring position through the first four innings. Richard was 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in the game, and their only hit — an Ethan Lozon single in the bottom of the second — didn’t score the runner, who had to hold up to see if it would be caught. 

“We’ve obviously got some work to do at the plate. I don’t know if it’s just been tough to get some continuity with getting games. We haven’t played on a regular basis, but our hitting’s been down this year. We’ve gotta get better at-bats. Struggling a little there,” Magier said. 

“It’s been like that all year. I don’t know what our batting average is with bases loaded, or guys at second and third — but it’s not good. It’s probably under .100. We’re just struggling in those situations. We just can’t get that big hit. The guys have done it in the past, so hopefully we can break out of it. The weather’s breaking, and hopefully we’ll break out of our slump.”

Gabriel Richard got on the board in the first, when Jacob Gosen doubled, and scored on an infield error. 

The Pioneers made it 2-0 in the fourth when Daniel Reitmeyer was hit by a pitch, and an outfield error put runners on the corners, setting up Jacob Gosen’s RBI groundout.

The Monarchs did have their chances, something that could give them a spark going forward.

“I think we hung right there with them. My pitcher, Alex Nealey, got out of some real tough situations with runners on base, getting guys out with strikeouts, or letting them put the ball in play, and letting the guys behind him make plays. They were a couple hits away from making something happen, but at the same time, we had a lot of runners on base in a few innings, so we were one or two hits from making it happen, too,” Cabrini coach Andrew Haubert said. “I know there’s some disappointment on our guys’ side, because they wanted to get to Comerica Park, especially with how close this game was. But I think it gave them some confidence that we could see this team in districts, and we can play with them. Baseball’s a great game — anything can happen.”