BASEBALL: OLSM jams and slams in CHSL semis, snuffs out Warren DLS
LIVONIA – All season long it has been widely known that Orchard Lake St. Mary’s has one of the best pitching staffs in the area.
On Saturday afternoon at Madonna University in the CHSL semifinals (A-B), the Eaglet’s lineup made the perfect complement to the rotation.
Behind rock-solid pitching from junior Greg Loukinen and a six-run fourth inning the Eaglets wheeled and dealed its way to a 7-2 win over Warren De La Salle.
The Eaglets (15-13) will make their appearance in the CHSL finals since 2007 at 12:30 on Thursday at Comerica Park where they are slated to lock horns with two-time defending-champ Birmingham Brother Rice.
Eaglet’s skipper Matt Petry was pleased with how the bottom of his lineup produced in a key game.
“It was great to get production there with two outs and especially with the bottom of our lineup,” he said. “We got key contributions from guys that maybe haven’t been our key contributors all year, but role players, who stepped up today and some young kids too, so it was nice to stake Greg out to that lead and he shut the door from there.”
In front 1-0 after an RBI double by Julian Jones in the first inning, St. Mary’s opened things up in the fourth, plating six runs with two outs to push the lead to 7-0.
The offensive onslaught started with a 2-RBI double from Drew Boyd to make it 3-0 and then an RBI single by Drake Titus and an RBI triple by Devin Rose helped push the lead to 6-0. Rose would go on to score on a passed ball.
“I thought we’ve always had the pitching to at least give us a shot to at least get to the semifinal,” said Petry. “We were concerned with the way we were swinging the bat and we kind of went through a lull there, but we got the bats going and now I think we’re a tough team to beat just based on our pitching and our bats coming around. The weather’s warming up and so are the bats.”
From there, Loukinen was dialed in, limiting the Pilots to just one run in over five innings of work before giving way to Connor Bowers, who shut the door for St. Mary’s from there.
Loukinen admitted that he didn’t have his best “stuff" and praised the defense behind him for making tough plays and aiding him in getting out of jams.
“They’re a good hitting team and I didn’t even have my ‘A’ stuff,” he said. “I worked with what I had and I knew they were a good hitting team and I got into a couple of jams and trusted my defense, but I had confidence and our defense was A-plus today.”
After De La Salle scored on a pass ball in the sixth, the Pilots then cut the deficit down to 7-2 in the seventh when Nick Lepore legged out an infield single, but Bowers silenced the Pilot bats after that to secure the win.