By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Brownstown Woodhaven baseball coach Corey Farner was reading last month about Homer breaking its 2005 record for consecutive innings without giving up a run, and he had an idea.
What he uncovered was an unknown chapter to one of the state's best high school sports stories this spring.
Homer had broken its previous record of 44 straight shutout innings with 48 consecutive during April and the first week of May. When Farner checked May 15, Woodhaven was at 43 straight shutout innings, beginning with the second of a game May 1 against Wyandotte Roosevelt.
When the Warriors gave up their next run during the fourth inning May 17 against Melvindale, the shutout streak had reached 60 – surpassing Homer’s 48, and also 45 straight Frankfort had strung together to break the original 2005 record earlier this spring.
"You would think there was some pressure on them going through the season, and there really wasn't," Farner said of his players. "I'm naïve, but I think they were completely unaware of anything going on with the 60-inning streak, and most of them didn't know we broke it until I told them after the (Melvindale) game. I didn't let them know what was going on because, frankly, I didn't know until five hours before that."
The scoreless inning streak set Woodhaven apart among candidates to be named MHSAA/Applebee’s "Team of the Month" for May. But again, that’s been but one highlight of what might already go down as the best season in program history.
The Warriors are 30-5 and won their fourth straight Downriver League title. They entered the postseason ranked No. 9 in Division 1 by the state baseball coaches association. And then they claimed their first District title in program history with a sweep of Monroe and Temperance Bedford on Saturday.
Success is nothing new to Woodhaven under Farner, who came over from Taylor Kennedy four seasons ago and has led the Warriors to a combined record of 118-24 to go with those four league titles.
He’s developed a program with impressive depth. Six pitchers took part in the scoreless streak – seniors Drew Szczepaniak, Justin Charron, Alonzo Chavez and Jacob Outland and juniors Colin Czajkowski and Kyle Ray – and all six have at least three wins on the mound, led by Szczepaniak (8-1, 0.98 ERA, 100 strikeouts) and Czajkowski (5-0, 1.23 ERA). Szczepaniak will continue his career next season at Western Michigan University, and Czajkowski has committed to sign with University of Michigan.
The offense actually jumpstarted the team’s roll this spring, and Charron leads with a .466 average followed by Czajkowski (.412), Szczepaniak (.381) and Ray (.378).
The team is led in part by seven seniors, half of whom came up to varsity as sophomores, and Farner could tell something was special with this group. The Warriors already have made a season’s worth of history for most, but have the opportunity to make more at Saturday’s Regional at Southgate Anderson, where they’ll take on Dearborn Edsel Ford and then with a win face either reigning Division 1 champion and current No. 10 Saline or Plymouth.
“This year, something was different,” Farner said. “The team chemistry is a lot better. The leadership is a ton better than it’s been in the past. It’s very difficult to try to develop leaders – it’s something they have to do and make that decision – and we have a good senior class that hold everybody accountable.
“And for them, there’s wasn’t a ton of pressure on them. They knew what they could do, and they just went out and were able to execute it.”
Past Teams of the Month, 2017-18
April: Detroit Catholic Central boys lacrosse - Report
March: Brighton hockey - Report
February: Marquette girls and boys skiing - Report
January: Sterling Heights Stevenson competitive cheer - Report
December: Cadillac boys bowling - Report
November: Ottawa Lake Whiteford football - Report
October: Beaverton volleyball - Report
September: Shepherd girls golf - Report
PHOTOS: (Top) Woodhaven's Drew Szczepaniak makes his move toward the plate this season. (Middle) The Warriors take a photo after a sweep of Taylor Kennedy on May 15. (Photos courtesy of the Woodhaven baseball program.)
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.