BOYS BASEBALL: Brother Rice’s Crushing Defeat
The Division 1 boys baseball final this past Saturday was a nail-bitter. It came down to the wire as Birmingham Brother Rice and Bay City Western, a Warrior vs. Warrior matchup, battled it out for the championship title. In the end, it was Bay City Western who held onto their 1-0 lead up until the very end and took home the trophy.
The game was scoreless up until the top of the 6th inning. Western’s David Fegan, put in to pinch run for Grant Bridgewater who walked, advanced to second off a balk. He then scored off of Brendan Harrisons’s single up the middle.
Brother Rice gave a solid effort to recover the ground they lost. When they failed to even the score in the bottom of the 6th inning, it all came down to the final moments. Bay City Western did not put another run on the board in the top of the 7th, leaving an opening for Rice to come out swinging. The pressure was on for Rice’s last hope Ross Haffey, who was pinch hitting for Karl Kauffmann. He came up to bat after Alex Malzone grounded to second, and Freddy Jehle reached on a fielder’s choice to second. However, both were out after a double play cross out at second to Western’s shortstop Seth Freed. When Haffey hit a pop fly to second base, everyone knew it was over.
Bay City Western’s No. 2 pitcher Connor Foley had a perfect 8-0 individual record by holding Rice to six hits, one walk and struck out 4. With Foley pitching all 7 innings, he never seemed tired. Only two Rice base runners reached second and only one advanced to third.
For Brother Rice, who has not won a title since 2008, this defeat was crushing. The real Cinderella story is Bay City Western, however, who now have their first state championship trophy to put in their case.