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Sterling Heights Stevenson pulls out 10-7 victory over U of D Jesuit

   | Branden Hunter

State Champs! Sports Network

The phrase "it's not over til the fat lady sings" rang true today in the state quarterfinal game between Sterling Heights Stevenson's and U of D Jesuit. The Titans clashed with the Cubs at Wayne State, driving in all of their runs in a third inning offensive assault, then holding on for a 10-7 win.

Stevenson's starting pitcher Zach McGuire started off strong, going three scoreless innings and striking out three. He also went 1-4 from the plate, with three RBIs. The Titans offense did all of it's damage in the top of the 3rd inning as Stevenson produced 10 runs. With the bases loaded, McGuire started things off with a bases clearing three RBI double for the 3-0 lead. After Zach Melcher made it 4-0 on a RBI single, sophomore outfielder Greg McDade smacked a double into centerfield, driving in one for the 5-0 lead.

The explosive inning would continue for Stevenson. After increasing their lead to 7-0, Bobby Griffin (3-4, 2 RBIs) doubled to put the Titans up 9-0. They would add another insurance run on an RBI single by Melcher for a 10-0 lead.

"We wanted to jump out to a lead," said Stevenson head coach Joe Emmanuelle. "We knew that if we stayed patient, and took some pitches, the flood gates would open up for us. Our big hitters came through."

Altogether U of D Jesuit used three pitchers in the inning, giving up ten runs on seven hits. However, the Cubs refused to throw in the towel. They responded with a four run inning of their own, to cut well into Stevenson's lead. Back-to-back RBI singles by Dylan Demkowicz and Carter Kovalcik (2-4, 2 RBIs) made it 10-2, and the Cubs added two more runs to bring the deficit to six, at 10-4. UofD Jesuit continued their rally in the 6th inning, when Demkowicz and Kovalcik struck again. A bases loaded wall by Demkowicz made it 10-5, and Kovalcik singled again to make it 10-6.

The momentum started to swing UofD Jesuit's way as their bats heated up and Stevenson's bats went cold. But in the end, the ten run deficit would prove to be too much to overcome. Michigan commit Harrison Wenson added one more run in the bottom of the 7th to make things interesting at 10-7, but Jack Cronyn flew out to leftfield to end the inning.

"It was definitely a stressful last three innings," Emmanuelle said. "In these types of situations, you just don't know what you're going to get." Stevenson's next opponent will be Bay City Western in the state semifinals, with a trip to Battle Creek for the finals on the line.