BASEBALL:Detroit Western's dynasty continues, with seventh straight city title |
DETROIT - Detroit Western High School baseball calls Clark Park, which is directly across the street from the school, its home. The Cowboys might want to call Comerica Park their second home, because they have owned that ballpark as well, as of late.
In rematch of last year's Detroit Public School League baseball Mega-Division title game, Western (16-5-1) cruised to a 6-0 win over Detroit King (9-13), on their way to claiming their seventh consecutive city title. That's right seventh. Which isn't surprising, seeing how dominant the Cowboys baseball program has been over the years.
"This isn't new for us," head coach Juan Sanchez laughed after the game. "But it was a great feeling to let the seniors go out undefeated in the PSL in their four year. So that's three classes in a row that haven't lost a PSL game, so they're keeping the streak alive, and putting pressure on the next class."
As long as the high school remains open, Western will continue to compete for the baseball city title, especially with the amount of talent they have year in, and year out. Sophomore Jessy Hernandez still has two years left to play, and was a key asset to his team's success. After his RBI single in the bottom of the first put the Cowboys up 1-0, he sacrifice-fly put them up 3-0 in the bottom of the third, spelling trouble for King. He went 1-3, with two RBIs on the day.
"Last year we had eight senior, so I have ten new guys," Sanchez said. "So for the ten new guys who have never been out here, it was an awesome experience. You could just see the excitement on their faces, and they loved it."
Western only managed to get five hits the entire game, but got some help from King in the bottom of the fourth, with two outs. Junior outfielder, Tyriq Thompson, dropped a catchable ball, that allowed two runners to score for Western, pushing their lead to 5-0. That error put a nail in the coffin, of any possible comeback King had in store, as Western added another run to go up 6-0, on a RBI double by Anthony Gutierrez.
"I thought at first it was a very clean game," Sanchez said. "They know Anthony (Gutierrez) very well, so if you noticed, they played a hole-heavy shift, and I had to tell them to not worry about where they're playing, and just hit the ball hard. We were able to capitalize on some plays, and I tell them all that time that good teams capitalize on mistakes.
"If a team gives you extra outs, you have to make the most of it, and I'm proud that we could do that."
Credit also has to go to senior pitcher, Louis Chapa, on his stellar performance. Western didn't manage a lot of hits, but neither did King. Chapa was in a zone, going the full seven innings, allowing only one hit, and striking out ten batters.
"This was my second time pitching here, since my sophomore year, and the same thing happened," Chapa said. "My team gave me good enough run support, and I kept it up with the pitching, and we got the win.
"There was a little bit of pressure to keep the streak alive, but with the talent that we have, we were able to hold on to it."
Chapa got off to a little bit of a rough start early on, but would soon settle down, and at one point retire eight batters in a row.
"It's kind of what he does," Sanchez said. "I make his throw for at least 15 minutes, because his first inning is always his shakiest inning, so it was typical of him for me, but I knew once he got past the first inning he'd settle in. He started to get a blister in the fifth inning on his index finger on his pitching hand, but he told me he was fine, and that there was no way I was taking him out."
That proved to be smart on Sanchez's part, as Chapa was able to continue his great play, and complete the shutout.
In the earlier game, Detroit East English Village Prep (14-2) repeated as East-West Division champs, with a 13-1 win over Detroit Henry Ford (7-5). The Bulldogs used a nine-run inning in the fourth to break the game open. Senior pitcher,Trey-Von Godfrey, had a complete game, striking out 11 batters in the process. Sophomore Malik Lewis was 2-3.