Pitching Aces Deliver Lakeshore Title

June 17, 2017

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.

Click for the full box score

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.

For Coach: Powers Completes 1st Title Run for 42-Year Leader Dutkowski

By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com

June 15, 2024

EAST LANSING — On behalf of this current Flint Powers Catholic baseball team, Saturday’s message was loud and clear to past players, alumni and school officials:

We finally did it for Tom. 

Tom would be longtime head coach Tom Dutkowski, who after 42 years and 872 wins finally got to coach in a state championship game Saturday. 

Not only did Powers get there for Dutkowski, but the Chargers delivered win No. 873 and his long-awaited first title as coach with an 11-0 defeat of Spring Lake in the Division 2 Final at McLane Stadium. 

“We just made Flint Powers history, and to be a part of that is amazing,” Powers senior Fischer Hendershot said. “We have a lot of alumni and a lot of alumni on the coaching staff. To do it for the coaching staff, everyone here, everyone in Powers, every alumni and everyone who cares about us is a great feeling.” 

The Chargers’ Fischer Hendershot delivers a pitch.After accepting the championship trophy and raising into the air triumphantly, Dutkowski reflected on the journey and long wait.

It was the third title for Powers baseball, joining the 1974 and 1980 championships. Dutkowski was an assistant on the 1980 team. 

“I played in ’73 here, and my joke for that was that I taught the ’74 guys everything they knew and then they won a state championship the next year,” Dutkowski said. “We won it in ’80 with just a gritty team. My third year as a head coach we got to the final four in Class A, and I figured this was going to happen every three years. And then it was a 39-year drought in terms of that.”

The game ended after five innings via the run differential rule and capped off a fairly dominant season for Powers — or at least as dominant as a baseball team can be for a season.

The Chargers finished 37-6 and outscored opponents by a combined 57-13 during the MHSAA Tournament.

The only close call during the playoffs came in Friday’s Semifinal, when Powers blew a 3-0 lead to Trenton before prevailing in the bottom of the eighth inning, 4-3, on a walk-off single by senior Gavin Darling. 

“These guys, they never flinched and they never wavered,” Dutkowski said. “They developed into being a great team, not just individual talent.”

Powers wasted no time against Spring Lake, taking a 2-0 lead with one out in the top of the first inning on a two-run double to the gap in left-center by Darling. After a ground out, Darling scored on a Spring Lake throwing error to give Powers a 3-0 lead. 

Powers added another run in the second inning on a bases-loaded walk to make it 4-0. 

Teammates congratulate Michael Klein (6) as he returns to the dugout.In the third, Powers scored four runs to take an 8-0 lead on an RBI single by Hendershot, a walk with the bases loaded and a two-run single by freshman Connor Kelly. 

Powers then put three more runs on the board in the fourth inning to take an 11-0 lead. 

Hendershot was the winner on the mound, allowing two hits and striking out five in five innings of work. 

Spring Lake also was attempting to win its first Finals title, but had to settle for its third runner-up finish (to go with those from 1995 and 1978). 

The Lakers finished 32-10. 

“They are a good team, and this was their year,” Spring Lake head coach Bill Core said. “We just couldn’t keep them off of the bases, and our pitching wasn’t as sharp as it’s been. We gave them a couple of free passes, and they mixed in some good hitting. That’s a good team, and that’s why they’ve been ranked No. 1 in the state all year.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Flint Powers Catholic raises its championship trophy to complete the 2024 baseball season Saturday evening at McLane Stadium. (Middle) The Chargers’ Fischer Hendershot delivers a pitch. (Below) Teammates congratulate Michael Klein (6) as he returns to the dugout.