EAST LANSING – Buchanan had no shortage of heroes in its 3-1 Division 3 championship game win over Detroit Edison on Saturday at McLane Stadium.
Among them: Cade Preissing, who walked three times and scored all three runs for the Bucks; Matthew Hoover, who drove in two runs with a pair of doubles and also got the W on the mound, and pitcher Macoy West, who made a stratagem by Buchanan coach Jim Brawley pay off by relieving Hoover twice at crucial times to pick up the save.
“I’m very proud of these young men,” Brawley said. “They've worked their butts off all year. They deserve it. They really do.”
The championship was Buchanan's first since 1985. The Bucks most recently finished Division 3 runner-up in 2015.
They won this game with clutch hitting, scoring runs in the third and fifth innings with two outs.
Both times, Preissing walked, then scored on doubles by Hoover.
“(Preissing) is a smart kid, a great hitter,” Brawley said. “He knows how to get on base, steal the bag, and Matthew brings him in.”
“I just tried to slow the moment down,” Hoover said. “Just put it in play. I’m glad I did. We won because of that.”
Preissing scored an insurance run in the seventh inning. He led off with a walk, went to second base on a fielder’s choice, to third on another fielder’s choice, then scored on a single by West.
Edison, the first Detroit public school to play for a Finals title in baseball since Detroit Western in 1972, continuously answered to stay close.
That’s where Brawley’s stratagem came in.
Noting that Edison won its first postseason game after its opponent had to pull its starting pitcher due to a pitch limit, Brawley opted to replace Hoover with West in the sixth inning to pitch to the lower third of the Pioneers’ order.
Hoover was back on the mound to start the seventh inning.
Edison got things going with a Terrell Crosson single, although he was a force out when Deshaun Williams reached on a fielder’s choice. But two walks loaded the bases.
In came West, who fell behind 3-1 to the only batter he faced – before coming back to get a strikeout and seal the win.
“We had opportunities,” Edison coach Mark Brown said. “It just wasn’t meant to be”
For the Bucks, it was a crowning achievement for a group that grew up playing baseball and reached their sport’s pinnacle.
“I’m just glad we finally did it,” Hoover said, his voice breaking with emotion. “We've been playing since we were 8 years old, playing in summer league, playing in the backyard. It means so much to me”
Jordan Jones had two hits for Edison (25-13), and Gregory Pace Jr. threw the first five innings for the Pioneers allowing two earned runs and striking out six hitters.
PHOTOS (Top) Buchanan players celebrate their Division 3 championship that closed the 2021-22 school sports year Saturday. (Middle) The Bucks’ Cade Preissing (17) takes a throw at second base as an Edison baserunner slides in head first.
Brad Bush, a highly-respected educator, administrator and coach over the last three decades, has been selected to serve in the position of assistant director for the Michigan High School Athletic Association, beginning Jan. 17.
Bush, 52, taught and coached at East Kentwood High School for four years before beginning a tenure at Chelsea High School in 1997 that has included teaching, then serving as athletic director and later also assistant principal and leading the football program as varsity coach from 1997-2002 and again from 2004-18.
He also has served as a statewide delegate on the MHSAA Representative Council during the last year and provided leadership in multiple roles, including president, for the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) since 2005.
Bush will serve as the MHSAA’s lead administrator for baseball and also among lead administrators for the officials program, which includes more than 8,000 registered officials in all sports. Bush also will be assigned additional duties in other sports based on his vast experiences. He was selected from a pool of 34 applicants.
“I’m incredibly excited to have Brad join our team,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. "He’s been an outstanding athletic director and coach who is highly-respected by those who know him.”
As Chelsea athletic director, Bush annually has supervised a staff of 110 coaches across 31 programs, with nearly 70 percent of the high school’s 800 students participating in athletics. As a teacher and assistant principal, he has served on Chelsea’s School Improvement Team and on multiple committees that provided instructional leadership including in the development of the district’s new trimester schedule. In his roles with the MHSFCA, Bush helped direct an organization with more than 2,200 members and also served as the association’s treasurer and liaison to the MHSAA.
Bush is perhaps best known, however, for his coaching success. Over 22 seasons, he led Chelsea’s varsity football team to a 169-60 record, 13 league championships, 18 playoff appearances, seven District titles and a Division 3 runner-up finish in 2015. During his break in tenure as Chelsea coach, Bush served as an assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator for Eastern Michigan University during the 2003-04 school year, and he has served as an assistant coach at Albion College the last four seasons contributing to the team’s two league titles and appearance in the 2021 NCAA Division III Playoffs.
“I feel like joining the team at the MHSAA is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Bush said. “The 26 years I spent at Chelsea were some of the best times of my life. It’s a professional transition that in the back of my mind, if this opportunity came, was something I needed to do.
“Over time, I’ve grown to care about the bigger picture of athletics and appreciate the role of the MHSAA in protecting high school athletics in Michigan.”
Bush is a 1988 graduate of Ypsilanti High School. He studied and played quarterback at Cornell University before returning and graduating from EMU after majoring in history and minoring in social studies. He earned his physical education endorsement from EMU in 2000 and his master’s in physical education and sports management from EMU in 2002. He has earned continuing education credits in sports management from Drake University and completed the Path to Leadership program from the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP).
Bush was inducted into MHSFCA Hall of Fame and Ypsilanti High School Hall of Fame both in 2019. He and his wife Laura have three adult children, two daughters and a son.
PHOTO Chelsea coach Brad Bush directs his team during the 2015 Division 3 Final at Ford Field.