Liggett Scores 2nd Title in 3 Seasons

June 14, 2014

By Andy Sneddon
Special for Second Half

EAST LANSING – Hits? Who needs hits?

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett had just three hits Saturday. But it used just about every other conceivable way to reach base, move runners along, and get them home in downing Decatur, 9-0, in the MHSAA Division 3 Final at McLane Baseball Stadium on the campus of Michigan State University.

It was the second straight title for the Knights (25-8), who won Division 4 crowns in 2011 and 2013. They were runners-up in Division 4 in 2012.

“So proud of the guys, so proud of the program,” said Dan Cimini, who is in his 11th year as Liggett’s coach. “We just keep staying confident and expecting to win every time we step on the baseball field. Doesn’t matter what division we’re in, that’s basically been our motto here.”

Freshman Gehrig Anglin tossed a two-hitter for the complete-game victory. He struck out four and walked three. He stranded two base runners in the first inning and left them loaded with Raiders in the second, then settled in and set down 16 of the last 18 batters he faced.

Joby Kawaski singled in the first inning and Dale Mann singled in the fourth for Decatur’s only hits.

“He didn’t have his best stuff,” Cimini said of Anglin. “He didn’t have his good curve ball, and he struggled with his control early. Our defense got us out of it, and then he settled down.”

A second-inning visit to the mound did the trick, Cimini said.

“I said, ‘Listen, I’m not going to sugar-coat it; if you don’t get this kid out, I’m taking you out,’” Cimini said. “As soon as I said that he focused like nobody’s business. He’s a 14-year-old, but he plays like a junior or senior. He’s been our ace all year. He did not have his best stuff all day. He struggled with his curveball, and his fastball was kind of all over the place.

“He may not say it, but I think he was a little nervous at the beginning.”

Decatur’s last legitimate chance came when it left the bases loaded in the second inning. After that, it was all Liggett, but the Raiders’ lackluster defense played a major role.

Liggett used a hit batsman, a single, an error and a sacrifice fly to seize a 2-0 lead in the third, then blew the game open with a seven-run fifth during which the Knights got just two hits – RBI singles by Adam Fiema and Anthony Simon.

Liggett’s turn at bat in the fifth inning included three walks, three errors, a hit batsman and a suicide squeeze.

Kawaski, Decatur's starter, did not survive the fifth and took the loss. He was charged with nine runs, just two of which were earned. He walked five and struck out six. Matthew Saylor finished up for the Raiders (24-7).

“He didn’t pitch terrible in my opinion,” Decatur coach Ben Botti said. “You know, we make a couple plays – did they get an earned run today? I don’t think they did. I mean, we crushed the ball today and got nothing to show for it. Then we turn around and kick (the ball) around.

“The shortstop boots two, we drop one in center – that kid hasn’t dropped one all year; we drop one at first base. We had another error in there somewhere. When you’ve got to pitch over all that kind of stuff, it’s tough to do.

“We’ve been making those plays in the tournament. And today we didn’t make any of them.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) University Liggett scored two runs in the third inning and seven in the fifth to build a comfortable lead in the Division 3 Final. (Middle) The Knights celebrated their second title in three seasons. 

Record-Setter Prout Helps Pace Standish-Sterling's 2022 Semifinals Run

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

December 27, 2023

Standish-Sterling’s run to the 2022 Division 3 Semifinals was driven in part by a record-setting offense, including a pair of senior standouts who posted single-season and career highlights.

The Panthers made the team record book in four categories, topped by a record 28 triples over 42 games. They also were added for 371 RBI (fourth all-time), 425 runs (12th) and 414 hits.

Cole Prout tied the MHSAA record for runs scored in one season with 84 and set the record with 27 career triples over three seasons (with 2020 canceled due to COVID-19). His 13 triples in 2022 tied for third on that list, while Chase Raymond’s 10 tied for 11th. Prout also tied for 12th all-time with 182 career runs, while Raymond is eighth on the single-season RBI list with 77 over 42 games in 2022 and earned a career RBI entry with 140.

Prout plays now at Central Michigan, and Raymond is playing at Saginaw Valley State.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA baseball record book:

Alden Stefanovski played a major role in Whitmore Lake reaching the 2022 Division 4 Semifinals. The senior also made the record book with 20 doubles over 33 games, the first from his school to earn a listing. He was joined in 2023 in the records by senior Alex Di Dio, who hit nine triples over 29 games and also three home runs in one game April 13 against Adrian Madison. Di Dio also was added for 13 triples and a .460 average for his three-season career, and he’s continuing at Kalamazoo College.

Trenton senior Jason Marshall was nearly unstoppable on the base paths during the 2022 season – and perfect stealing on them. He made the record book with 49 steals in 49 attempts, and also for seven triples over 35 games. He’s playing football at Eastern Michigan.

Trent Hagenbach finished his Saginaw Valley Lutheran career in 2022 tied for 11th on the career triples list with 16 despite not having a 2020 season and hitting all of them over the final two. He also made the records for his seven as a junior and nine as a senior.

Dansville had 10 pitchers contribute to its 388 strikeouts over 38 games during the 2022 season, a total which placed the Aggies second all-time. Tucker Mosley paced the team with 137 strikeouts.

Parchment’s Aaron Jasiak finished his three-season varsity career with seven record book entries, including one of the most impressive winning streaks all-time. He won all 26 pitching starts over his career, which didn’t start until his sophomore season because of the COVID-related cancelation of 2020. His winning streak is the seventh longest in MHSAA history, and his 0.87 ERA ranks 11th. He also made career lists with 163 runs scored, 112 stolen bases and a .460 batting average over 103 games, and his 60 steals over 38 games this spring rank 10th. He’s continuing at Hillsdale College.

Bay City Western finished 42-2 in winning the Division 1 championship in 2013, ranking sixth for most wins in a baseball season. The Warriors also tied the record with 21 shutouts, and their 1.02 ERA ranks fifth all-time.

Grandville Calvin Christian senior Blake Pettijohn struck out 20 batters in a 7-0 win over Belding on May 11, which tied for seventh-most for a seven-inning game. He’s continuing at Hope College.

Grant’s Oakley Obenauf made the single-season stolen bases list in the spring with 45 over 29 games – and was a major contributor as his team made the single-game list multiple times. He had a combined eight steals over two games as Grant swiped 13 and 11 bases during halves of a doubleheader May 11. Obenauf is a senior this school year.

Paw Paw reached the team record book this past spring after being hit by 50 pitches over 30 games. Seven players were hit by at least five pitches, with the team leader totaling 10.

Lansing Eastern earned its first record book entries from a pair of graduating seniors this spring. Dominic Wilson capped his three-season varsity career with 134 stolen bases, which rank 10th. He swiped a career-high 51 as a senior. Teammate Matthew Stevenson made the career batting average list at .472 despite getting only eight at bats as a sophomore because of an injury.

Benzie Central’s Wyatt Noffsinger enjoyed a memorable run to nearly finish off his high school career, throwing consecutive no-hitters against Buckley on May 24 and then Manton on June 3.

Okemos then-junior Caleb Bonemer earned his first record book entry with three home runs June 3 against Grand Ledge as his team clinched a Division 1 District title. Bonemer has committed to sign with Virginia.

After 45 years, Flint Southwestern’s Ruben Luna and Risto Nicevski were added for their accomplishments on the 1978 Class A championship team. Luna made the wins list with a record of 14-0 and the ERA list with a 0.71, and Nicevski made the ERA list with a 0.72. Both went on to play at Michigan State.

East Lansing’s Sam Busch enjoyed a career day on April 12, 2019, when he hit three home runs in consecutive at bats against Ionia. A junior that season, he’s now playing at Michigan State.

Powers North Central’s Adrian Mercier enjoyed a record-worthy junior season this spring. He hit .619 over 32 games, ranking 10th all-time for a single season.

Whitehall senior Cayden Ritchie chased and nearly caught the single-season stolen base record in 2021, when he tied for second with 72 steals over 36 games. He also made the single-game steals list five times, twice with a high of six.  

Aidan Liedeke capped his Brighton Charyl Stockwell career in the spring with some of the most impressive strikeout numbers in state history. Already listed for averaging 15.41 strikeouts per game as a junior in 2022, he averaged 14.92 Ks per game this spring to finish his three-season career at 15 strikeouts per game. He posted a 0.88 ERA in the spring as well to finish with a career 1.52. He’s playing at Kalamazoo College.

Killian Bies finished his Marshall three-season career in the spring among leaders all-time for getting hit by pitches. He already had tied for sixth as a sophomore in 2021 with 22 HBPs, and with 14 more both his junior and senior seasons he finished with 50 to rank fifth on that list. He’s continuing at Cornerstone.

PHOTO Standish-Sterling's Cole Prout (8) readies for a pitch during his team's 2022 Division 3 Semifinal.