By Andy Sneddon
Special for Second Half
EAST LANSING – Baseball purists would have loved it.
Almost as much as Stevensville Lakeshore coach Mark Nate did.
Max Gaishin won a classic pitchers’ duel with Alex Dingee on Saturday as Lakeshore defeated Bay City John Glenn, 1-0, in the MHSAA Division 2 championship game at Michigan State’s McLane Baseball Stadium.
The victory capped a 36-6 season for the Lancers, who completed a magnificent run through the tournament that saw their pitchers surrender just five runs.
Lakeshore won its Quarterfinal, 7-1, on Tuesday with Connor Brawley on the mound and on Thursday captured a Semifinal, 3-0, with Joel Brawley on the hill.
“I am so proud of my pitchers,” Nate said. “We gave up five runs all tournament. That might be a record. Seven games, giving up five runs.”
Gaishin, a senior left-hander, surrendered six hits and struck out five. He did not walk a batter, extending to three Lakeshore’s streak of games during which its pitchers did not issue a base on balls.
“We knew this pitch-count rule was coming,” Gaishin said in regard to the MHSAA pitch-count limitations which took effect at the beginning of the season. “So (from) day one it was, ‘Get the ball over the plate.’ And we knew we had outstanding defense so it’s get the ball over the plate, let the defense work. That has been the motto from day one.”
It was the second MHSAA baseball title in Lakeshore history. The Lancers captured the Class B crown in 1990.
“Max pitched his butt off, and I’m so proud of these kids,” Nate said. “It’s theirs. One hundred percent theirs. Right now it hasn’t really sunk in to me; maybe it will in about five minutes. Lot of smiles over there, and they deserve them.”
Dingee, also a senior southpaw, allowed just two hits, struck out two and also did not issue a walk. The game took just 1 hour, 15 minutes to complete.
“Our guy, he mixed his pitches well, he threw strikes and we played outstanding defense behind him,” said John Glenn coach Jeff Hartt, whose team finished 34-9. “My guys never gave up, and that was their MO for the year. This is a tough one. It’s going to take a while for it to sink in, the type of season we had. It was a great year. We came up a run short in the state championship game.”
The Bobcats, who were also Division 2 runners-up in 2012, left seven runners on base including the potential tying run in the sixth inning. Matt Fisher had two hits including a double to lead John Glenn at the plate.
“We got some runners on. We just didn’t get the big hit when we needed it, or they got the big play when they needed it,” Hartt said. “It was a great ball game; great game.”
Lakeshore (36-6) scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the third inning. Sean Branch tripled with one out and scored on Ryan Remus’ sacrifice fly.
PHOTOS: (Top) Stevensville Lakeshore's Max Gaishin makes his move toward the plate during the Division 2 Final. (Middle) A Lakeshore runner tries to slide into third base under the tag.
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.