Mount Pleasant makes strong case for second consecutive Division 2 title, beats Birch Run 8-0
Mount Pleasant – Mount Pleasant’s quest for a second consecutive Division 2 state title continued Tuesday as the Oilers defeated Birch Run in dominant fashion, 8-0, in a quarterfinal at Theunissen Stadium.
Junior Hunter Buczkowski held Birch Run (24-8) to four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He had five strikeouts, two walks and he hit a batter.
Sophomore Cameron Mitchell, who played on the junior varsity most of the season, came in with the bases loaded in the fifth-inning to record the final four outs.
“Well Hunter threw very well today,” said Mount Pleasant coach Luke Epple. “They started to adjust to him a little bit towards the end and he was tiring so we brought in Cam he did the job.”
The Mount Pleasant offense was jumpstarted by senior Ryan Lucksted in the early going, as he drove in Zach Heeke on an RBI double in the first inning.
Lucksted finished the day 3-3 with two RBI.
“I just tried to do whatever I could to help the team today,” said Lucksted. “The last few games it’s taken us awhile to get going and today we got on top early and it really set the tone for us the rest of the game.”
“Ryan puts the bat on the ball and hits to all fields,” said Epple. “That’s why he’s hitting in the No. 3 spot for us right now. It’s because he moves runners and knocks runners in.”
Sophomore leadoff hitter Obie Ricumstrict also turned a solid hitting performance going 2-4 with two RBI and sparked a four run sixth-inning, allowing the Oilers to pull away.
Mount Pleasant (27-13) will head to East Lansing where they will take on Adrian in a semifinal on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
“Well it changes now, we can’t let a team hang around like they did and make some of the mistake that we made,” said Epple. “We match up well and if we play our game and go after them then I believe we have a real good shot.”
The Oilers are striving for a fifth state title. Mount Pleasant defeated Richmond, 7-2, last year to claim its first title since 2007.