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BASEBALL: Bishop Foley’s Schilling unblemished through three seasons as a prepster

By: Scott Burnstein, June 15, 2013, 9:00 am

BATTLE CREEK – Perfection is often quite elusive.

Not for Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s Garrett Schilling.

The Ventures’ ace junior hurler holds a remarkable 31-0 career record on the pitching mound.

On Friday, he threw a gem of a 2-hit shutout, striking out 9 and sending his final 12 outs of the game down in order to lead two-time defending Division 3 state-champion Bishop Foley to a convincing 6-0 defeat of upstart Bridgeman in the state semifinals in Battle Creek at historic Bailey Park’s C.O. Brown Stadium.

Schilling, a wiry and tough-minded righty was his typical deadly-self, killing the opposition with his efficiency.

He threw a tidy 77 pitches in coasting to the win, his 15th of the 2013 campaign.

Bishop Foley will go for the three-peat Saturday afternoon, squaring off with Granville Calvin Christian in the state finals.

Last year, Schilling pitched a complete-game in the Ventures 6-2 semifinal-victory over Saginaw Nouvel. He’s been on varsity since he was a freshman and will collect a third state-title ring if Bishop Foley’s prevails Saturday.

The consummate technician toeing the slab, Schilling is a multi-pitch specialist who displays consistency and command every time he gets the nod.

“I have a lot of respect for that kid,” said Ventures skipper Buster Sunde of his star pitcher. “He just goes out and does his job whenever we call his number, no questions asked. He’s a real student of the game. He has five different pitches and he knows how to use each one of them expertly. Garrett’s the type of player you dream about coaching.”

Because he’s not overpowering in his velocity, Schilling hasn’t attracted a ton of Division I college interest from recruiters.

Sunde, a former all-state pitcher as a prepster in the area at Madison Heights Lamphere in the 1970s and MLB draft pick in the 1980s out of Western Michigan, is confident Schilling is ready for the Division I level.

“Whatever Garrett has to improve on or shore-up, that’s what he does, because that’s the kind of kid he is,” he said. “There’s no question in my mind he’ll be a steal of a college recruit.”

Schilling’s 31 straight wins is second-most all-time in MHSAA history, tied with Doug Vanderwall, who played at Grand Haven between 1959-1961.

The state’s career-record for most wins is held by Nate Wernette of Morley-Stanwood in the early 2000s with 56. If Schilling wins 12 more in a row he’ll break the state’s all-time record currently held by Dan Holcomb of Homer (42 consecutive victories, 2003-2006).