Brother Rice tops Divine Child to earn fourth straight Catholic League A-B Title
Detroit – While Karl Kauffmann made an appearance in last year’s Catholic League A-B Final, the junior got the start on Friday as he aimed to help lead Birmingham Brother Rice to a fourth straight A-B Title at Comerica Park.
And it didn’t take Kauffmann long to settle in.
Kauffmann pitched six innings of one-run baseball, while registering eight strikeouts and allowing just two hits as he led the Warriors to a 5-1 win over Dearborn Divine Child making four CHSL titles in a row for Brother Rice.
“He pounded the zone really early,” said Brother Rice coach Bob Riker of Kauffmann’s performance. “He threw strikes and getting five runs for him early makes it easier to throw. He had good stuff and he threw first pitch strikes and in 3-2 ball, that’s big.”
Kauffmann noted that the experience of pitching at Comerica Park in last year’s game had him feeling far less nervous this time around.
“It was pretty cool,” he said. “I didn’t have too many nerves coming into today because of last year, that one seemed a little bit bigger, because I felt like I had to pick up the seniors and that group of guys. But this year, I was able to just come out and do my thing.”
The win for Brother Rice also marks the fourth CHSL A-B title for seniors Nick Plummer and John Garry as members of the Brother Rice team.
It was a five-run third inning that broke the game open for Brother Rice (23-8) as the Warriors scored all five runs with two outs.
An infield single by Reese Trahey, followed by a throwing error scored the game’s first run as John Garry scored to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.
Brother Rice then got a two-RBI single from Kauffmann and junior outfielder Preston Pilat registered a two-RBI triple to give Brother Rice a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third.
“We put the ball in play, their guy threw a ton of first pitch strikes,” said Riker. “You get the leadoff guy on and bunt him over, it puts a little more pressure on them with guys on base and in high school baseball whoever walks the fewest and makes the least amount of errors and that error at second base was huge because it kind of opened the floodgates. It gave us our first run and then we got a couple of two out hits and now you have a crooked number up there and it makes it a lot harder to come back from.”
That’s all the run support that Kauffmann would need.
After Divine Child (22-11) got a run back in the bottom half of the third inning, on an RBI double off the bat of Danny Blade the cut the deficit to 5-1, Kauffmann was in cruise control from there.
The junior ace of the Brother Rice pitching staff wouldn’t surrender another hit the rest of the way until he gave way to Mitchell Tyranski, who closed out the game with a perfect seventh inning.
“I felt like I was really spotting my fastball,” said Kauffmann of his effort on Friday. “I was throwing it inside and that with the curveball and getting it over for strikes, I felt like that was the key to success for me.”