BASEBALL: Bay City Western knocks out Clarkston in state semifinals

| June 12, 2014 | Comments (0)


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EAST LANSING — In the history of the Class A/Division 1 baseball state tournament, no school has ever repeated as the state champion.

Bay City Western is one win away from pulling off the feat.

The sixth-ranked Warriors, the only D-1ranked school in the Final Four, rolled past Clarkston, 6-1, Thursday in the state semifinals at Michigan State University’s McLane Stadium-Kobb Field.

Bay City Western (37-7), which has now won 77 games against nine defeats the past two seasons, will take on unranked Grosse Pointe South at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at MSU.

“A lot of people thought that we would rebuild this year, but we knew we still had a lot of talent,” said senior Scott Badour, who gained the win from the mound for the Warriors. “We have something to prove. We’ve got this far, so we might as well repeat.”

Badour, just one of four seniors on an 18-player roster, was a role player during last season’s 40-2 record and state championship run. Not this time around. He allowed only one run in the bottom of the fourth and was in complete control the whole seven innings.

The right-hander fired a five-hitter with four strikeouts, two walks and scattered 11 total baserunners. Only four Clarkston hitters even reached second base in the contest.

“That team is very well-coached and seemed like they did all the right things,” sighed Clarkston coach Phil Price, who lead his team to its first Final Four since 2002. “(Badour) was always throwing change-ups, always hitting spots. He wasn’t a thrower, he’s a (true) pitcher. He really kept us off balance. The other thing was when they got the 4-0 lead, they got ahead and he pitched with confidence. They made some plays and we didn’t make some plays.”

The Warriors graduated 10 total players from last year’s squad, including seven starters — four which were All-State players. Bay City Western scored two in the second, two more in the third, one in the fourth and the final run in the sixth to pull away.

Tyler Snover belted an RBI sac fly and Jason Clark supplied an RBI single in the second to put the Warriors up for good. Badour helped his own cause in the third by plating Carson Eby with another sacrifice fly and Snover added a two-out RBI single later in the frame for a commanding 4-0 advantage.

The Warriors, who corralled nine hits and 16 total baserunners, added a run in the fourth when Eby was hit by a pitch, stole second and third, and came home on a throwing error.

Clarkston (21-13) spoiled Badour’s shutout bid in the bottom of the fourth when Nathan Witt belted a double and scored on Mitch Smith’s double off the next pitch.

Bay City Western added its final run in the sixth when Justin Gorr reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Seth Freed.

Witt suffered the loss for Clarkston, going 5 1/3 innings with nine hits, no strikeouts, a walk and three hit batsmen.

Brandon Wise finished 3-for-4 and scored a run for Bay City Western, which featured eight sophomores.

“We lost a ton of players from last season — 10 and seven were starters,” reminded Bay City Western coach Tim McDonald, who moved to 601-205-7 in his 22nd season at the helm. “But they are not sophomores anymore. We are playing some really good baseball right now.

“(Badour) has stepped up big for us,” continued McDonald. “We didn’t have very much (varsity) experience on this team. He set the tone. In a lot of double headers that we played this season, he always set the tone. He pitched in some close games for us this season. He is totally composed and we saw that again today.”

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