With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning on Saturday, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep was one good swing away from the end of its Catholic League season.
Instead, Notre Dame Prep pitcher Matt Pezolt was able to induce a 6-4-3 double play, ending the game and securing his team’s 3-1 upset win over Madison Heights Bishop Foley in a Catholic League C-D semifinal.
“It took a split second to sink in, and I was like ‘Wow, we just won.’ It was incredible,” Notre Dame Prep coach Darren Audia said.
Notre Dame Prep will take on Riverview Gabriel Richard on Thursday at Comerica Park for the C-D championship. Riverview Richard beat Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 3-2 in its semifinal on Saturday afternoon.
Pezolt went the distance for Notre Dame Prep. He allowed a run on three hits, while striking out seven and walking seven.
“I don’t think he was overly sharp today, but he was effective,” Audia said. “He’s getting better every single time he goes out. He was a bulldog today. He made the pitches he needed to. I’m very proud of him.”
Notre Dame Prep scored twice in the top of the first, on an RBI single from Andrew Carpenter and a sacrifice fly from Kory Czajkowski.
“We just took it one inning at a time,” Audia said. “It was a fantastic effort.”
Bishop Foley scored its run with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
Garrett Green reached on a swinging bunt, turned RBI infield single that Pezolt and catcher Ryan Knudsen couldn’t make the play on.
“Our catcher should have taken charge of that and thrown to first base,” Audia said
Notre Dame Prep answered in the top of the sixth.
Knudsen singled to lead off the inning. Two batters later, with Matt Fulmer at the plate, Knudsen scored on a passed ball.
“We’ll take it for sure,” Audia said. “I was getting ready to squeeze our guy and the passed ball happened.”
Birmingham Groves 12-21, Berkley 6-5: Connor Bradbury went 3-for-3 with a double and four RBIs while Michael Pastoria and Nate Higley each went 2-for-2 with a double and RBI in the opener. In the nightcap, John Kowalchuk doubled, tripled and finished with five RBIs as part of four-hit day. Xavier Warren also doubled and tripled while Max Novick had four hits with four RBIs for Groves (27-7).
Detroit Country Day 11-3, Franklin Road Christian 5-1: Country Day's Will Krushana went 4-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs while Mike McLean and Tanner Greve each had three hits in the first game. In the second contest, Greve's had a two-run double while Andrew Toma struck out seven for the complete game win for Country Day (23-5).
Grosse Pointe North 6, Detroit Western 1: At the Grosse Pointe Invitational, Chad Lorkowski threw a complete game four-hitter for North (23-7). He allowed a run on four hits while striking out eight. Tristan Richardson had a double and two RBIs for North.
Grosse Pointe North 4, Livonia Stevenson 2: Alex Kracht went the distance for North, allowing two runs on five hits. He also had a single and an RBI.
Grosse Pointe North 15, Grosse Pointe South 4 (5 innings): Alex Huguenin (three RBIs) and Steve Kent had a pair of hits for North. South is 15-17.
Notre Dame Prep 1, Warren Regina 0 (4-2 PKs): Notre Dame won the Catholic League A-B championship in a final settled by penalty kicks after a scoreless draw in regulation.
Al Willman is a freelance writer
Detroit News staff contributed