After squandering a big lead to Macomb Area Conference Red Division rival Utica Eisenhower, Sterling Heights Stevenson got a trio of clutch performances to grab the first of three games this week between two of the top-ranked teams in the state.
Mario Camilletti was the hero with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh, scoring Shamblin Mitchell from third base and giving his team a 7-6 comeback victory that nearly slipped away in the sixth inning.
Stevenson (16-3, 7-0), ranked fifth in the state by the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association, had gotten out to a 5-0 lead with runs in each of the first three frames. Pitcher Garrett Navarra was cruising along, but third-ranked Eisenhower powered back with a five-run fifth.
Zach Metz had a two-run double as Eisenhower (15-2, 6-1) tied the game and chased Navarra, who gave way to Zach Roth.
Roth would give up a go-ahead double to Eisenhower’s Joe Zontini in the sixth that put Stevenson in a 6-5 hole, but according to Stevenson coach Joe Emanuele, Roth couldn’t have pitched better in such a tough spot.
“He was the difference,” Emanuele said. “He settled things down, got a couple of ground balls and stopped the bleeding.”
Stevenson grabbed momentum back in the bottom of the sixth when Luke McGuire crushed a solo shot to straightaway center field.
“It was a mammoth bomb,” Emanuele said. “It was probably 400 feet, and it landed in somebody’s back yard.”
After Roth was able to shut down Eisenhower down in the seventh, Mitchell led off the bottom of the frame with a single, which Navarra followed with his fourth hit of the day. After both moved up on a passed ball, Mitchell crossed the plate triumphantly on Camilletti’s winning base knock.
Navarra persevered through a rough fifth inning on the mound, finishing with four hits and three runs scored. Camelletti went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and McGuire was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a homer.
Jacob Raymond went 3-for-4 with two runs scored for Eisenhower.
These two teams will meet again on Wednesday and Thursday.
Birmingham Groves 17, West Bloomfield 0 (6 inn.): In Game 1, Groves scored nine runs on 10 hits in the top of the sixth. Max Novick was the winning pitcher, Connor Bradbury went 5-for-5, Chaise Ford and Nick Ringler each went 2-for-4 with a triple, and Harrison Cole went 3-for-3 for Groves (14-2, 6-1 OAA White).
Birmingham Groves 11, West Bloomfield 1 (6 inn.): In Game 2, Zavier Warren went 4-for-4 with five RBIs, two runs scored, two doubles and a triple for Groves. Nick Seidel went 2-for-3 for West Bloomfield.
More baseball scores
Berkley 4-5, Troy 3-9
Birmingham Seaholm 4-5, Farmington 3-4
Detroit Catholic Central 4-5, U-D Jesuit 2-9
Milford 5, White Lake Lakeland 4 (8 inn.)
Novi 11, Livonia Churchill 1 (5 inn.)
Brighton 14, Walled Lake Western 10
White Lake Lakeland 9, Milford 3
Fenton 5, Clio 1
Grosse Ile 4, Riverview 0
Linden 3, Ortonville Brandon 0
Port Huron Northern 3, Warren Mott 2
Utica Eisenhower 1, Utica Ford 0
Birmingham Groves 13, Berkley 1: Max Novick went 4-for-4 with a triple and five RBIs, while Zavier Warren (3-for-5) also tripled and had three RBIs for Groves in a game played at Michigan’s Ray Fisher Stadium. Ryan Laub gave up two hits with one walk while striking out nine in six innings to earn the win. Ryan Flannery tripled for Berkley.
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer; News staff contributed.