Camilletti's walk-off hit gives Stevenson district title; regionals next for TitansBaseball  |
Sterling Heights – It’s one thing to be just an average player in the starting lineup. It’s another to be a key component.
Mario Camilletti is one of the young, up-and-coming players for coach Joe Emanuele at Sterling Heights Stevenson. Emanuele has but four seniors who contribute on a weekly basis and he’s had to depend on players like Camilletti, a sophomore second baseman, to carry much of the load.
On Monday Camilletti justified his coach’s decision to bat him leadoff as Camilletti singled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Titans a 3-2 victory over Clinton Township Chippewa Valley in a Division 1 district final at Stevenson.
Stevenson (32-6) won its 10th district title since 1999 and will face Grosse Pointe North (26-11) in a regional semifinal on Saturday at G.P. North at 10 a.m.
“I knew this would be tough,” Emanuele said. “We played Chippewa three times during the season and in one we trailed 5-0 before coming back to win 6-5.
“Coming into this year we had four really good seniors. We had to play the younger guys and those guys are doing well. It went our way today. We have several ways to win a game.”
Stevenson scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Greg McDade singled to start the two-out rally. Starting and winning pitcher Brandon Williams followed with a single and McDade scored on Devin Dudal single. Williams then scored on a wild pitch.
The Titans’ bats were then silenced by Chippewa Valley junior Alex Kulmatycki. The right hander retired the next 14 batters in order before Riley McCauley walked with one out in the sixth.
“He was throwing off speed pitches to us,” Camilletti said. “He threw me two fastballs my first time up then all he threw then was curveballs.”
Williams gave up one hit through three innings before walking the first two batters in the fourth. He retired the next three batters but couldn’t escape the fifth as Sean Bunting opened with a double and went to third on a throwing error. Jimmy Czarnik singled home Bunting with one out but was left stranded at third after an Austin Kunert single as Williams retired the next batters.
Chippewa Valley, which was 1-14 in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division, tied the game at 2-2 with two outs in the seventh when Czarnik scored all the way from first on a Dan Quinn double.
Luke McGuire walked with one out for Stevenson and went to second on Simon Lidwell’s bunt single. Kulmatycki retired the next batter and a fly to center before Camilletti drove a pitch to the gap in right center easily scoring McGuire.
“I was looking for the changeup,” Camilletti said. “But he threw a fastball. I just stayed with it.
“It means a lot to me to get a hit like that. I’m loose now. I feel fantastic.”
Williams gave up five hits, four walks and struck out eight. His counterpart gave up six hits, two walks and struck out three.
Chippewa Valley (14-19) scored a run in the seventh to defeat Utica 3-2 in a semifinal earlier Monday to reach the final.
“They played the hardest today than they had all year,” Chippewa Valley coach Gregg Sadowski said. “They stayed clear. We lost a lot of one-run games this year. To play two tight games today and to see someone else lift up the trophy, if that doesn’t light a fire for us next year nothing will.”