Tyler Newitt shut the door in the seventh inning with the bases loaded to put a bow on his complete game shutout as he led Birmingham Groves to a 2-0 win over Berkley on senior night Thursday.
The knuckleballer yielded six hits, struck out three while throwing only 77 pitches in the win. He had the full faith of Groves coach Shawn Morrison to finish the job when Berkley was threatening late.
“It was his game. He hadn’t surrendered a run. He’d been getting ground balls and we’d been playing good defense behind him. We just trusted what he could do,” Morrison said. “We wanted to give him the opportunity to finish an amazing game that he had started.”
Chaise Ford drove in both Groves' runs with the winning hit coming in the third inning when he scored Matt Bachand from second. The senior third baseman — who’s committed to Ferris State for football — then homered in the fifth.
“I always joke around with him that he picked the wrong sport because last year for us he had like a 1.00 ERA and hit high .300s,” Morrison said. “He’s been versatile for us, has been in the three-hole for the last two years; he’s one of our clutch hitters and came through again tonight for us.”
The win meant a little more than most, given the celebration of Groves’ upperclassmen before first pitch.
“Senior night is always a fun night for the guys,” Morrison said. “We had 13 seniors, so it was a little tough on me because I couldn’t even play all of them the whole game, but everyone got in for at least a little bit.”
Utica Ford’s Hood throws no-hitter
Utica Ford junior Nolan Hood needed just 69 pitches to no-hit Macomb L’Anse Creuse North as his team’s offense jumped on the opposition early, resulting in an 8-0 Ford victory.
Ford coach Ryan Joseph said Hood was “locating down in the zone, and he was able to throw his curveball for a strike a majority of the time.”
“Most of it was just the control,” Joseph added. “He finally got into the groove that we knew he was capable of.”
Matt Domke had a double and an RBI, Colin Cornwell had three hits, an RBI and two runs scored, Spencer Carson had two hits and two RBIs and Dawoud Almathari had two hits and an RBI. Ford scored four runs in the first and fourth innings.
Joseph was impressed by his team’s ability to bounce back against L’Anse Creuse North after dropping the first two games of the series earlier in the season.
“It showed a little bit of a resilience,” Ford said. “Setting the tone was what we needed because they had all the confidence. We needed to take it back.”
Joseph said of his team’s first-inning performance: “I think the biggest thing was that it was a whole team thing. Nine guys came to the plate and we did it as a team — as a group.”