Jake Lipetzky goes the distance, Riverview Richard takes C-D title over ND Prep, 5-1
Detroit – Riverview Gabriel Richard coach Michael Magier nearly removed his ace right-hander Jake Lipetzky in the first inning as the senior struggled with his control.
Lipetzky walked three and gave up a run in that inning but settled down in the final six innings and Richard cashed in on a four-run fifth to defeat Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, 5-1, in the Catholic League C-D Division championship game at Comerica Park on Thursday.
It’s Richard’s first C-D title since 2007.
Lipetzky walked the first batter and, with two outs and the bases loaded, he walked Kory Czajkowski to force home Notre Dame Prep’s only run. Lipetzky got Matthew Sollmer on a ground out to end the inning.
“We were ready to pull him,” Magier said. “His velocity was down. He didn’t have his good control. I told him he had to start getting people out.”
Lipetzky gave up singles in each of the next two innings before retiring nine straight. Sollmer opened the bottom of the seventh with a walk and was later thrown out at the plate as he tried to score on a Joseph Agro single to end the game.
“I was a little nervous,” Lipetzky said. “I had to settle in. My release point was off. My coach pulled me aside and said it’s still my game. I felt a lot better after that first inning. I had to get my stride down.”
Notre Dame Prep starting pitcher, sophomore lefthander Matthew Pezolt, gave up just one hit through the first three innings then gave up an RBI double to Jac Lemieux that tied the game at 1-1.
Pezolt’s troubles boiled over in the fifth. He hit the first batter, Zach Loewengruber, and when Jacob Hanioan bunted to sacrifice, Pezolt threw wildly to first putting runners on second and third. Pezolt struck out the next batter and when Loewengruber was thrown out at home attempting to score on a pitch that got away from catcher Ryan Knutson.
With two outs Pezolt walked Josh Blaszczak and Lipetzky to load the bases. Zach Swain, on a 2-1 full count, lined a single to left to score Hanioan and Blaszczak. Josh Tufts tripled to score two more to give the Pioneers a 5-1 lead.
Lipetzky did the rest.
“I love those types of situations,” Swain said. “We knew at that point we had the game.”