Buchanan to play for Division 3 state title today

Published 7:46 am Saturday, June 18, 2022

EAST LANSING — When the going got tough, the Buchanan baseball team got going.

Trailing 1-0 at the end of the sixth inning, the Bucks scored six unanswered runs — including five in the pivotal eighth — to defeat the Panthers 6-1 in extra innings in Division 3 baseball state semifinal play Friday at McLane Field.

“Drew [Glavin] didn’t let them run away from us,” said Buchanan Coach Jim Brawley. “He kept us close to where we could finally push one across and tie it up. Then we had one of our typical innings, you know, that we’ve been having all year in the eighth. It just took a long time to get to it.”

Macoy West tallied two hits and two RBIs and Nick Finn had a hit and two RBIs, while Matthew Hoover added two hits and 1 RBI.

On the mound, Glavin struck out one batter and gave up five hits in six innings and Hoover struck out one while giving up one earned run and three hits in two innings.

In the top of the eighth with one out, Cade Priessing scored what would be the game-winning run after singling to center, stealing second and using a Hoover single to run home.

Later, a West triple to center field brought Wegmer and Hoover home to give the Bucks a 4-1 lead.

A Nick Finn single brought West home and Finn scored a wild pitch to round out scoring.

Like it had all game long, the Buchanan defense came up big with slick game-ending double play.

“We knew that if we could just keep getting guys on base, we knew that with our speed that we could steal some bases and get guys in scoring positions,” Brawley said. “It was just a matter of someone come up with a big hit and it took a while.”

Brett Bartlett led Standish-Sterling with two hits and pitcher Chase Raymond had one hit and an RBI, while he  struck out four batters and gave up 10 hits and five earned runs in 7.1 innings.

With the win, Buchanan (29-4) advances to the Division 3 finals where it will be looking for its first state title since 1985. The Bucks will face Detroit Edison (25-13), who defeated Pewamo-Westphalia in its semifinal 3-2 Friday afternoon. Buchanan and Standish-Sterling will play at McLane Stadium at Michigan State University at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“Our kids have been on a quest from day one, they’ve wanted to get back here since day one,” Brawley said. “Their goal was to get to the championship game tomorrow, and I’m so proud of them because they put forth a ton of effort to do it, you know, just hard-working kids, and that’s what you love.”