Imlay City bows out in semifinals
Season ends with loss to eventual regional champ Goodrich, 3-0
|Imlay City Coach Mark Owen talks to his ballclub before their Division 2 regional semifinal clash versus Goodrich last Saturday morning. photo by Kevin Kissane.|
June 11, 2008IMLAY CITY — The 10th-rated Goodrich baseball team prevented unranked Imlay City from reaching their first regional championship game since the 1994 campaign, accomplishing the feat with a 3-0 win in a Division 2 semifinal encounter it hosted last Saturday morning.
With the decision, Goodrich improves to 34-4 overall. Imlay City watches a 22-9 season reach an endpoint.
"Our trademark all season was being aggressive at the plate," Imlay City Coach Mark Owen said. "That is what allowed us to win the BWAC championship, a district title and beat some very good teams along the way," he noted.
"Today, we were caught looking a few more times than I would have liked. As the game went along we became less tentative, but just couldn't capitalize when we got runners on the basepaths."
In Saturday's encounter, contested under scorching temperatures in the mid 80s, Imlay City got to bat first.
Imlay City would be held scoreless during their initial at bats, a harbinger of things to come.
Goodrich, though, would fare a bit better when their initial at bats rolled around.
It was there Goodrich sent seven batters up to plate, jumping out to a 3-0 advantage at the time.
That was followed by a scoreless second inning of play.
The top half of the third inning would see Imlay City threaten to mount a comeback, placing runners aboard first and third with one out. However, Goodrich pitcher Jake Bourassa got the next Spartan hit to ground into a double play to halt the bid.
In the bottom half of the third inning, Goodrich also came up empty-handed in their pursuit of runs.
Innings four through six saw the scoreboard remain unchanged.
It had come down to this. Imlay City needed three runs to extend the contest to extra innings and four to go ahead.
However, it was not to be. The top half of the seventh would see Imlay City sent down in order, assuring Goodrich of a hard fought 3-0 win.
Justin Pitt proved Imlay City's top offensive threat that morning, collecting a pair of singles. The Spartans also received a single each off the respective bats of Devin Wiegers, Ryan Pitt, Ryan Baker and Eric Harbin.
Justin Pitt took the loss for Imlay City, going the seven-inning distance. He kept his ballclub in the thick of the battle from start to finish, allowing five hits, striking out seven and walking three.
Before leaving for the ride back home to Imlay City, Owen took time out to give credit to his ballclub for all that they have achieved.
"This was a good baseball game today," Owen said. "I think we proved we could play with Goodrich," he noted.
"This game showed me what I already knew. And that is we deserved to be playing at this level."