East Lansing — Bay City John Glenn took advantage of Dearborn Divine Child’s sloppy play Thursday afternoon to advance to the Division 2 championship game with a 15-4, 5-inning mercy rule semifinal victory at Kobs Field.
John Glenn scored seven runs in the top of the second, taking advantage of several errors, including what could have been six ground ball outs in the inning.
And, John Glenn (34-8) made Divine Child (23-20) pay with Matt Fisher, who should have never been up in the inning, coming through with a three-run triple.
John Glenn scored five more times in the fourth, including a two-run single by pitcher Brad Mularz and a two-run single by Corey Langenburg to open up a 13-2 cushion.
“It was pretty ugly,” Divine Child coach Dan Deegan said. “They gave us three errors (in the second inning) and it could have been more so that’s disappointing. They teed off on every one of our pitchers. Give them credit. They outplayed us offensively, defensively. They pitched better than us, hit better than us.
“We felt good, really confident about this game. Even though we got them 1-2-3 in the first, all three of those outs were hard shots and that was kind of a tell-tale sign. That second inning then, when we booted the ball and made some bad mistakes, it just kind of snowballed.
“We’re a fourth-place team in our league and at one time were five games under .500 and they could have packed it in, but they didn’t fold, they stayed together as a group and were able to make a run.”
It was the second straight year Divine Child advanced to the final four, losing last year to Vicksburg in a semifinal game.
John Glenn will be making its first state championship game appearance since a Division 2 state title game loss to Grand Rapids Christian in 2012. It will face Stevensville Lakeshore (35-6) at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
John Glenn coach Jeff Hartt was thrilled by how his team jumped out to the big lead.
“We hit the ball pretty well and we’ve hit it pretty well all season,” Hartt said. “Putting the ball in play is the most important thing. It’s high school baseball and you put the ball in play and maybe there’s a bad throw, maybe a bad bounce, maybe beat the throw out.”
Mularz earned the win. He also had a two-run single in the fourth. Senior catcher Tanner Gilles paced John Glenn’s 15-hit attack with four singles, but it was Fisher who got his team going with the bases-clearing triple in the second.
“It was amazing,” Fisher said. “They were at a low point and we got a couple of runners on and put the pedal to the metal after that. It was a fastball and I just got ahold of it.”
Daniel Bullard suffered the loss for Divine Child, giving up eight runs, six earned in 2 2/3 innings. Shortstop Zac Krauss had a double and triple in the losing cause with Scott Combs contributing two singles.
Stevensville Lakeshore 7, Chelsea 1: Connor Brawley regrouped after giving up an opening inning homer to Cal Barrett to lead Stevensville Lakeshore to a semifinal rout.
Brawley struck out five and allowed five hits without giving up a walk, and helped himself with an RBI triple during the pivotal four-run third.
First baseman Tyler Mojsiejenko doubled and had two singles for Lakeshore. Max Gaishin had a two-run single.
Andrew Anstead took the loss for Chelsea (31-10).
Northville 9, Grand Haven 1
Saline 12, Grosse Pointe Liggett 0
Final: Saturday, 9 a.m.
Stevensville Lakeshore 7, Chelsea 1
Bay City John Glenn 15, Dearborn Divine Child 4
Final: Saturday, 11:30 a.m.
Madison Heights Bishop Foley vs. Caro, 9 a.m.
Traverse City St. Francis vs. Schoolcraft, 11:30 a.m.
Final: Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Unionville-Sebewaing vs. Portland St. Patrick, 2:30 p.m.
Hudson vs. Gaylord St. Mary, 5 p.m.
Final: Saturday, 5 p.m.