EAST LANSING – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s senior Tommy Allman stole the show on the mound in Saturday’s Division 2 Final.
His talented teammates did the same on the base paths.
Allman pitched six solid innings, and the Eaglets set a new Finals record for stolen bases in a decisive 9-0 win over Stevensville Lakeshore at Michigan State’s McLane Stadium.
Top-ranked St. Mary’s (43-1) won its second Division 2 championship in a row and the program’s fifth Finals title overall. The 43 wins tied for the MHSAA record with four other teams: 2010 Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard, 1997 Midland Dow, 1995 Stevensville Lakeshore and 1985 Harper Woods Bishop Gallagher.
“It was a good outing, and I was dialed in,” said Allman, who’s headed next to Jacksonville University. “I trusted my team behind me, and everything was working; the off-speed, curveball and slider.
“This is the best way to end it, with a state championship. The whole year we battled, and we pulled it off. I’m proud of my team.”
Allman surrendered only two hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. He struck out seven and didn’t allow a walk.
Relief pitcher Jake Keaser recorded the final two outs.
“It was a heck of a performance from Tommy; that was awesome,” St. Mary’s coach Matt Petry said. “The plan was to split the game among three guys, but Tommy was throwing so well that we didn’t do that. I made the decision to take him out (in the seventh), and he got a great ovation.”
The Eaglets finished with 12 stolen bases. The total eclipsed the previous Finals record of nine, set by Colon in the 1989 Class D Final against Gaylord St. Mary’s.
Alex Mooney and Ryan Mooney both tied the Finals individual record with three steals each.
“We work out all year trying to stay athletic, and I feel like it really helps,” said Alex Mooney, who scored twice and had two RBI.
“From the first inning we knew we were getting good jumps and their pitchers were not doing the best job of keeping us on. We got our timing down, and we knew we could swipe bags and we did.”
Nolan Schubart broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a two-RBI double.
“Nolan is a stud, and I had all the confidence in the world that he was going to get a hit there,” Alex Mooney said. “It was a huge hit for us, and it really got us going and started that big inning for us.”
Ryan McKay followed with another double to drive in a pair and make it 4-0.
The Eaglets finished with six runs in the inning, then added another three in the sixth.
“This was the ultimate goal,” said Petry, whose starting lineup was loaded with Division I college talent.
“We have three goals each season: Win the Catholic League regular season, the Catholic League tournament championship and the state championship. We always had this day in the back of our mind, and we were able to close it out.”
Freshman Noah Chase started on the mound and went 3 ⅔ innings for the Lancers.
Lakeshore, which committed three errors and had only two hits, finished the season at 28-12 overall. The loss was its first in a Final after winning back-to-back Division 2 titles in 2017 and 2018 and a Class B crown in 1990.
“Going into the fourth, we felt really good about ourselves and the game plan was working,” Lancers coach Mark Nate said. “I’m proud of our kids for the way they fought early, and then their true talent came out and that's the bottom line.
“That team is a very, very good baseball team, and they’re deserving of winning it all.”
PHOTOS: (Top) Orchard Lake St. Mary's Alex Mooney (2) hones in on a pitch during Saturday's Division 2 Final. (Middle) Lakeshore's Andrew Lies (2) stretches for first base as St. Mary's Ike Irish takes a throw.
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.