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.

Lumen Christi Rallies Late, Watervliet Quickly Comes Back in McLane Openers

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

June 13, 2024

EAST LANSING — Jackson Lumen Christi head coach Phil Clifford said halfway through this season his team adopted a mantra of “Find a way.”

But even this seemed a little extreme.

Lumen Christi was down to its last strike in Thursday’s opening Division 3 Semifinal against Charlevoix, and trailed by two runs. 

Over the next handful of minutes, however, Lumen Christi indeed found a way, rallying to earn a 3-2 victory and a trip to Saturday’s championship game where the Titans will attempt to win their first title since 2015. 

The home team, Lumen Christi saw No. 8 hitter Timmy Crowley (hit by pitch) and No. 9 hitter Jack Fitzpatrick (single) get on base to start the seventh inning. 

Charlevoix starter Bryce Johnson retired the next two batters, but then Lumen Christi junior Brodie Gregory hit a ground ball on a two-strike count that took a hop past the shortstop near second base to score Crowley and make it 2-1. 

Lumen Christi then tied the game at 2-2 when junior Kash Kalahar hit a grounder that eluded the third baseman and scored Fitzpatrick.

That brought up freshman Benny Gaston, who hit a grounder in the hole between first and second base to score Gregory and give Lumen Christi what had seemed only moments before an improbable win.

“We’ve had a lot of close games throughout the Catholic League and the state tournament, and they just seem to find a way,” Clifford said. “They never give up, and they always believe they can do it.” 

Gaston ended up with the lone RBI of the day for Lumen Christi (30-10).

“I went to bed last night going through every situation in my head,” Gaston said. “Just trying to find a way for my team. Just do anything for my team to win.”

It was the cruelest of defeats for Charlevoix (27-11-1), which was that close to making its first trip to a championship game. Johnson ended up allowing just five hits and no earned runs over 6 2/3 innings. 

“That’s part of the game,” Rayders coach Steve Spegl said. “There’s got to be a winner, and there’s got to be a loser. We fought hard for 6 2/3 innings and just had a couple slip through. One of our sayings is that ‘we never lose, but we learn.’ We learned a lot today.” 

Charlevoix took a 1-0 lead during the second inning on an RBI double by junior Hunter Lemerand, and then went up 2-0 in the fourth on an RBI single by Johnson. 

Charlevoix had the bases loaded with no outs, but Lumen Christi starter Gabe King pitched out of jam without surrendering more runs. 

Lumen Christi had runners on first and third with one out in the fourth, but the inning ended on a lineout to third that turned into a double play. 

The Titans put the leadoff man on the fifth, but that inning ended on another double play, this time on a flyout to right when the runner took off and couldn’t get back to first in time after the ball was caught. 

In the sixth inning, Lumen Christi put their first two batters on base, but a 5-3 double play and a strikeout by Johnson once again got Charlevoix back to the dugout with no damage done. 

But those halted rallies ended up not mattering, as Lumen Christi lived up to its mantra and found a way in the seventh.

Click for the full box score.

Watervliet 7, Detroit Edison 2 

Watervliet senior pitcher Wyatt Epple probably felt like he was on the ropes in Thursday’s second Division 3 Semifinal. In the bottom of the first inning, Edison took a 1-0 lead on three straight singles – senior Jordan Jones driving in the run – and had two runners on base with nobody out. 

“They pounded the ball that first inning,” Epple said. “I didn’t know what the rest was going to look like.”

Watervliet’s Owen Epple (5) and Edison catcher Zaire Clement follow the ball during their Semifinal.As it turned out, the rest of the game turned out to be a remarkable recovery.

After pitching out of that first inning jam allowing no further runs, Epple was in control the rest of the way for Watervliet in a 7-2 victory.

Epple allowed no runs and just two hits for 5 2/3 innings after the first before allowing back-to-back singles with two outs in the seventh inning. 

By then, the game was all but decided.

“Trusting my fastball I think was the biggest thing,” Epple said. “In the first inning, they were hitting the off-speed pretty well. I trusted the fastball a little more in the next inning and the innings after. It worked.”

Edison head coach Mark Brown lamented the lost opportunity in the first inning.

“I thought in the first inning, we had a really good opportunity to get ahead in the game and put some pressure on them,” he said. “We let them off the hook. As the game progressed, they gained confidence. We didn’t hit the baseball in situations, and they did.”

Watervliet (30-7) advanced to the championship game for the first time in school history.

“Our message the past couple of weeks is to have a loose focus,” Watervliet head coach Josh Tremblay said. “We can’t get uptight or overwhelmed with what is going on. Just have fun and do what we do.” 

Watervliet struck for three in the top of the third inning, first tying the game at 1-1 on an RBI double down the left-field line by junior Owen Epple. The Panthers took a 2-1 lead on an RBI sacrifice fly by senior Alex Hicks, and then went up 3-1 on an RBI double by sophomore Caleb Jewell. 

Edison loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth inning, but Epple induced a flyout to end the threat. Watervliet then loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth and took a 4-1 lead on a sacrifice fly by Hicks. Jewell plated another on an RBI single to left to make it 5-1 Panthers. 

The Panthers added insurance during the seventh inning on a third RBI sacrifice fly by Hicks that made it 6-1. Epple scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-1 Panthers. 

Edison (25-12) added a run in the seventh on another RBI single by Jones.

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Lumen Christi’s Benny Gaston smashes the game-winning hit during the seventh inning of Thursday’s first Division 3 Semifinal. (Middle) Watervliet’s Owen Epple (5) and Edison catcher Zaire Clement follow the ball during their Semifinal.