Orchard Lake St. Mary's, Grosse Pointe North Follow Aces to D1 Final

By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com

June 17, 2022

EAST LANSING – For the final time during his high school career, the Brock Porter show did not disappoint. 

There was a lot of anticipation for the second Division 1 Baseball Semifinal between Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern on Friday. Casual baseball fans, other teams, and of course professional scouts were in attendance at McLane Stadium to get a look at Porter, a senior pitcher for St. Mary’s and possible first-round pick in this summer’s Major League Baseball Draft. 

In his final high school appearance, Porter tossed a no-hitter to help lead the Eaglets to a 9-0 win. 

St. Mary’s (43-0), which won the last two Division 2 championships before moving into Division 1 this year, tied a state record for most wins in a season, and will look to set the record and finish this spring unbeaten in Saturday’s Final against Grosse Pointe North. 

Porter didn’t blow away Forest Hills Northern (24-12) with strikeouts like he has so many other opponents this year, recording only six. But he walked just two and didn’t allow much hard contact. 

“I kind of knew it was coming along once I was pitching a little bit,” said Porter, who has committed to play in college for Clemson, pending his draft situation. “I was just trying to go out there and give everything for my team.” 

St. Mary’s opened the scoring with two runs in the first inning when senior Jack Crighton stole home on a double-steal play and senior Ike Irish hit an RBI single up the middle.

The Eaglets tacked on another run in the second inning on an RBI single by Crighton to make it 3-0 before delivering a crushing blow in the fourth.

With the bases loaded and two outs, senior Nolan Schubart blasted a grand slam over the fence in right field to give the Eaglets a 7-0 lead.

“That was a huge hit for us,” St. Mary’s coach Matt Petry said. “It’s a 3-0 ballgame, and to make it 7-0 gave us some breathing room and some room for error.”

St. Mary’s added a single run in the sixth inning to round out the scoring. 

Scubart, Crighton and Irish all finished with two hits to lead an eight-hit attack for the Eaglets. 

Forest Hills Northern coach John Dolce praised his players for getting the program to the state’s final four for the first time. But Porter was just too much.

“Obviously he’s an incredible pitcher,” Dolce said. “He gets every pitch across. He’s a competitor, and we just ran into an incredible baseball team today. I told our players

it’s not life and death and to just enjoy the experience. We enjoyed the opportunity.”

Click for the full box score.

Grosse Pointe North 8, Battle Creek Lakeview 0

North coach Kevin Shubnell said his team lost the coin flip that determined whether it would be home or away for the first Division 1 Semifinal against Lakeview, but he wasn’t all that disappointed.

“Our philosophy the whole tournament has been to be the visiting team,” Shubnell said. “We’ve won the toss a few times and chosen to be visitors because we felt like our lineup could put up  a run or two and give our starting pitcher a little cushion.”

Grosse Pointe North baseballThe Norsemen did just that, scoring two runs in the first inning and five runs in the second to jump out to a big early lead.

Grosse Pointe North (23-7) advanced to its first Final since winning it all in 2006. 

After getting staked to a big lead, North junior ace Jordan Arseneau – who entered having allowed just one earned run all year – was able to pitch relaxed the whole game. 

“It puts a lot of pressure off of me,” Arseneau said. “It puts me into a good mindset that I just have to do my game, throw the ball over the plate and let my defense make plays.”

Arseneau finished with a five-hit shutout, striking out five and walking two. 

Grosse Pointe North loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning on two walks and a hit batter, and then made it 1-0 when senior Luke Babcock walked with the bases loaded.

North then took a 2-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Brennan Hill. 

The Norsemen took advantage of more Lakeview pitching miscue in the second inning, taking a 4-0 lead on a passed ball and a bases-loaded walk to senior Jake Tedesco. 

Babcock drove in another run on a fielder’s choice to make it 5-0, a lead which grew to 7-0 following a sacrifice fly by Hill and an RBI single by senior Bryan Carney. 

Grosse Pointe North added another run in the fourth inning on another bases-loaded walk. 

“We didn’t play terrible, but we didn’t play great,” Lakeview coach Kyle Kracht said. “It was a tough time for us to not play our best baseball, but these kids have nothing to hang their (heads) on. They did a great job and had a great season.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Brock Porter makes his move toward the plate during Friday’s second Division 1 Semifinal. (Middle) Grosse Pointe North’s Drew Hill tracks a fly ball during his team’s Semifinal win.

Longtime Chelsea High School Administrator, Coach Bush to Join MHSAA Staff as Assistant Director

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

December 21, 2022

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.

Brad BushBush, 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.