This Time, It's Saline's Time to Top D1

June 17, 2017

By Andy Sneddon
Special for Second Half

EAST LANSING – Five times, Scott Theisen had brought a team to an MHSAA championship game. 

Five times, his Saline Hornets had come up empty.

But Saturday, appearing in its sixth Final, Saline jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and made it stand up to claim its first MHSAA baseball championship with a 5-2 victory over Northville at Michigan State’s McLane Baseball Stadium.

“It means the world, not only to me but all the other guys who have been here and gotten so close so many times,” said Theisen, who is in his 25th season at Saline and led the Hornets to Division 1 runner-up finishes in 1998, 2008-10, and 2016. “This one is in the books for everybody. It’s hard to describe how I feel.”

Theisen used four pitchers – starter Danny Weidmayer followed by Paul Kiyabu, Kellan Huang and Tyler Zmich – to hold in check the Mustangs (30-11).

None was overpowering – they surrendered a combined 10 hits and Northville stranded 10 base runners – but they threw strikes and benefited from three double plays turned behind them.

“They threw OK compared to how they’ve thrown all year,” Theisen said. “It’s a tough situation out there with the stakes so high and the zone was moving and it was tight at times. They just kept working and kept pumping strikes and didn’t let the wheels fall off.”

The Hornets (39-3) loaded the bases in the first inning with a single, a walk and a bunt. Two runs were forced in by walks, and Huang hit a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead.

Ryan Foley led off the Saline second inning with a double, stole third and scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 4-0. He finished with three hits including two doubles.

“We’ve been working so hard for this state title,” said Foley, a senior outfielder and one of seven starters who returned from the Hornets squad that fell, 7-6, in  the 2016 title game to Warren DeLaSalle. “To get one for coach T, it means so much to this community. Even when we were 8 or 9 years old, we had a goal and that was to get a state title at the high school level.

“We came up short last year, and that crushed us. We kept our composure (this year) and I think it helped having had so many guys who played in the state title game (last year).”

Kiyabu, who relieved Weidmayer, picked up the victory. Zmich worked the final two innings for the save, entering with two on and none out in the sixth inning and inducing two groundballs, one of which went for a double play.

It was the first Finals appearance for Northville, which got three hits from Aram Shahrigian and two each from Nick Prystash and Alex Garbacik.

“I think ultimately it was the first inning, nerves and jitters, and the double plays we hit into,” Northville coach Mike Kostrzewa said. “We had 10 hits and two runs; that’s not going to happen very often. Credit them for making the plays. We had squandered opportunities, and really a bad first inning.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Saline celebrates its first MHSAA baseball championship Saturday at McLane Stadium. (Middle) The Hornets score one of their five runs.

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.