East Lansing — New Lothrop completed its steady climb to the top on Saturday as it upset top-ranked Beal City, 5-0, in the MHSAA Division 4 baseball final on Saturday at Michigan State’s McLane Stadium.
New Lothrop won a district title in 2001, won a regional title the next season and made it to the state semifinals for the first time last season.
New Lothrop (34-6) scored one run in the second inning, three in the fourth and added its final run in the seventh.
“We have a pretty good athletic tradition at our school,” New Lothrop coach Keith Villano said. “We’ve been successful in other sports. But we only raise state championship trophies up in the gym. We’re just trying to build a program with certain philosophies.”
The wrestling program at New Lothrop won Division 4 titles in 2003, ’04 and ’13. In football, New Lothrop has a Division 8 championship (2006) banner in its gym.
New Lothrop junior left-hander Grant Steinborn pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits, walking two and striking out four.
He pitched in relief in Friday’s 3-1 semifinal victory over Maple City Glen Lake and got the final two outs.
“I’ve got a rubber arm,” Steinborn said. “I could throw 100 innings if I have to. We’ve been good in wrestling, football and now baseball. It feels good to be good in all three.
“Our coach’s philosophy is to throw strikes and play defense. When we got outs as often as I did, you gain confidence. That triple they hit in the seventh didn’t even faze me.”
Ty Rollin tripled with two outs in the seventh for Beal City.
Ben Muron started the three-run fourth with a one-out walk. With two outs Brodie Bennett walked. Kyle Chapplle had an RBI single and the second run of the inning came in on a throwing error. Quentin Taylor brought the third run home with a double.
Beal City (36-4) made three errors and left two runners on base in each of the third, fourth and sixth innings. It left nine on base for the game.
Beal City’s best chance to score came in the third. Luke Farrell led off with a double, then was thrown out at third on a fielder’s choice. Rollin reached on an error and when Nick Hoogerhyde singled to center, Kendall Flaugher was thrown out at the plate on a fine throw by Muron.
Taylor and Bennett each had two hits for New Lothrop. Rollin had two hits for Beal City.