The Greenhills baseball team scored a 5-0 win over Canton Prep to win a District title and it was anything but easy. Now, their first Regional victory was easy – very easy. But first the District title.
“Over the last few years we’ve started to get a good feel for Canton Prep,” said Greenhills Coach Tom Ward. “Coach Figley has done a tremendous job with his guys. Every time we see them they get better and better throughout the season.
“I think we have faced Brandon Hale each year for the past three years. He’s a great starter that controls his off-speed really well. This was one of the first times we were able to get to him early in the game.”
The third inning was the big one for Greenhills in Monday’s Division 3 District final at Concordia University.
“It is funny, I believe our second game of the year we were in a hole and it was our 8 and 9 hitters that started a big rally to kick off the amazing season we’ve had,” said Ward. “In this game, our seven, eight and nine hitters had consecutive hits to start the third inning.”
Stevie Snabes’ RBI double was the first big hit. Snabes, a senior captain, has come up with big playoff hits in the past, but none bigger than in the District final. Senior catcher and captain Alex Winning topped off the inning with a sharp single that scored two. Snabes was later able to score the fifth run of the game after a walk and stolen base.
Junior Gabe Seir (8-1, 63IP, 1.33 ERA, 79K) took care of the rest for the Gryphons. Seir threw his third complete game shutout of the season, giving up just three hits and two walks over seven innings. He also struck out nine.
“On a team with a deep senior class, Gabe has been an unquestioned leader,” Ward said. “His passion for the game is unequaled. Last week he took his first loss of the season to Ann Arbor Pioneer, despite going six innings without giving up an earned run. He never hung his head and always trusted his teammates would have his back the next time out. However, on Monday, he just put them on his back and was phenomenal.”
This was the first time Greenhills has ever won back-to-back District titles.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the team,” Ward said. “We have a lot of good ball players, but they are all great young men that represent their families and school extremely well. The best part is that we get to keep playing. We know we’ll have a major challenge in Regionals, but this team is really eager to keep the train rolling.”
Their first game in Regionals wasn’t much of a challenge. Their Regional semifinal game, which was supposed to be Wednesday, was forfeited by Detroit Collegiate Prep. Greenhills (28-3) will play Riverview Gabriel Richard at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Napoleon. Richard defeated Detroit Edison 4-1 on Wednesday. The championship game is at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The Greenhills-Richard winner will face the winner of the Michigan Center (25-5) – Homer semifinal game.