Walk-off lifts Buchanan to sweep over D1 ranked Detroit Catholic Central
Published 6:15 pm Sunday, April 24, 2022
BUCHANAN — Competing against a school five times its size and ranked in Division 1, the Buchanan baseball team knew it was in for a challenge.
But the Division 3 No. 2-ranked Bucks proved they were up to the task on Saturday, using clutch hitting, pitching and defense to defeat No. 16 Detroit Catholic Central 3-2 and 6-5 in dramatic fashion.
With a runner on third base in the final inning of Game 1, catcher Murphy Wegner threw a runner out trying to steal second base and Drew Glavin ended the game with a strikeout on the next pitch. Game 2 ended on a bases-loaded walk-off single by Wegner.
“We wanted to be here,” said Buchanan baseball coach Jim Brawley, of playing a D1 school known as an athletics powerhouse. “Those two wins are as good as we’ll have here. It was a great challenge for us, and I’m glad we met that. … We’re very thankful they came down. This was a great opportunity for us to get real playoff-type games.”
Western Michigan commit Matthew Hoover led the Bucks on offense and defense in Game 1, hitting a two-run home run and striking out 12 batters over 6.1 innings.
“Unbelievable,” Brawley said. “He did it single-handedly … Even [Catholic Central’s] coach said Western is getting a heck of a player. For them to say that, it was very classy. Great coaches over there.”
Glavin — an Albion College commit — and Hoover each totaled three hits and three RBI for the Bucks, who moved to 7-0 on the season, an RBI single in Game 1, while also earning the save. Connor Legault, Cade Preissing and Wegner had two hits on the day, with Preissing adding a pair of RBI in Game 2. Macoy West earned the win in Game 2, relieving Glavin after four innings.
In each game, the Shamrocks fought back from early deficits, but ultimately fell just short after traveling nearly 200 miles to play the Bucks.
“That’s a quality team — you know they’re going to battle back,” Brawley said. “We knew we just had to respond and keep it close.”
Brawley said this was by far the best team they have played this season, and he expected as much given the reputation of Detroit Catholic Central as a sports powerhouse.
“That’s Detroit Catholic Central … their whole team is better than anyone we’ve seen,” Brawley said. “We made some mistakes, but we got to get better – at least they showed us our mistakes.”
Brawley added his team will use these games as a teaching opportunity to show his players it’s the little things that count — running out a pop-up, backing up a throw, etc.
“If everybody does their job, at the end of the day, if we lose, we can at least say ‘hey, we did our job,’” Brawley said. “This game is the greatest game in the world when it’s played right, and the worst game when it’s played wrong. When you play it right, it’s beautiful. It’s like ballet with everyone going in the right spot.”
Buchanan travels to Berrien Springs for a doubleheader Tuesday.