A year after bowing out in the regional final, Warren De La Salle baseball is headed back to the regional tournament after a 13-2 district-final victory Warren Woods Tower at Warren Cousino High that was closer than it looked.
The teams entered the fourth inning scoreless, and in the sixth De La Salle (21-14) clung to a 3-2 lead when the trickle of runs turned into a steady downpour.
"There was no huge hit," De La Salle coach Steve Schypinski said. "It was just a walk, a single, a few wild pitches and hit batsmen, things like that, that led to all the runs."
Add a sacrifice fly to that mix and De La Salle had itself 10 runs combined in the sixth and seventh innings.
While the De La Salle lineup was parading around the bases, De La Salle senior starting pitcher Easton Sikorski was putting the finishing touches on a complete game.
"Easton (Sikorski) is a control-pitcher," Schypinski said. "He commanded both sides of the plate with his fastball. He threw his change-up and curve well today, too, but the fastball was the best."
Cleanup designated hitter Max Gordon had a double and five RBIs for De La Salle to lead the offense.
"He (Gordon) had some good at-bats," Schypinski said. "He had a consistent approach at the plate all day. He's a patient hitter and he was a tough out."
Plate discipline has been a point of emphasis in practice for De La Salle, and it paid off when Tower's starter was forced to leave after hitting the 105-pitch high school limit. De La Salle did most of its damage after breaking into Tower's bullpen.
"For the last three weeks we talked about having a good approach and being a tough out," Schypinski said. "It's all we talk about from a technique standpoint. Regardless of whether you make a hit or an out, you need to extend the at-bat. We didn't have a standout player today, but getting their starter out of the game was huge."
Senior catcher Mac Graybill hit a two-RBI double down the left field line in the sixth inning, and junior right fielder Nolan Shultz hit a two-RBI double in the fourth for De La Salle.
Regional play starts on June 9, and if De La Salle is going to repeat its title-run from 2016, it will have to play better in the field.
"We've got to clean up the defense for sure," Schypinski said. "We had a couple errors today. We've got to communicate better. We threw a bunt away, and you can't have that."
In order to reach the district final, De La Salle beat Cousino, 9-1, earlier in the day.
More baseball districts
New Haven 7, Clinton Township Clintondale 5: Starting pitcher Brad Dalrick went five innings and batted 2-for-4 with an RBI single, Tyler Boshear went 2-for-4 and had two runs, and Tyler Dusty had two hits and two runs for New Haven in the District 90 semi.
Boys lacrosse state quarterfinals scores
Birmingham Brother Rice 9, Northville 8
Bloomfield Hills 12, Rockford 9
Detroit Catholic Central 15, Troy Athens 3
Hartland 19, Brighton 7
East Grand Rapids 16, Ada Forest Hills Eastern 2
Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central 26, DeWitt 7
Grosse Pointe North 10, Tecumseh 9
Orchard Lake St. Mary's 16, Detroit Country Day 5
Girls soccer districts
Southgate Anderson 2, Lincoln Park 1 (OT)
Hartland 4, Pinckney 0
Dearborn Divine Child 1, Garden City 0
Birmingham Marian 8, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood 0
Pontiac Notre Dame 3, Fenton 0
Grosse Ile 8, Dearborn Henry Ford 0
Detroit Country Day 3, Wixom St. Catherine 0
Macomb Lutheran North 5, Marine City 0
Ann Arbor Greenhills 2, Ann Arbor Steiner 0
Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 5, Allen Park Cabrini 0
Marine City Cardinal Mooney 5, Memphis 1