Tue June 12, 2012
Baseball is a great game because it can be won or lost with one swing of the bat. This was shown in the Division 2 state quarterfinal matchup between the Dearborn Divine Child Falcons and the St. Clair Saints.
The Falcons came into the quarterfinals with 11 losses, 6 more than that of the Saints. However, the Falcons proved to be the better team on Tuesday thanks to a great performance by junior pitcher Zack Schmidtke. Schmidtke went the distance and struck out five, but he also made a statement at the plate.
In the top of the first, Schmidtke bombed a three-run homer off sophomore pitcher Jared Tobey to right field that sent a statement to St. Clair and gave momentum to Divine Child. The Falcons added another run the the third as sophomore catcher Anthony DiPonio scored on a pass ball to make the score 4-1.
In the bottom of the fourth the Saints were threatening, but senior outfielder Alex Piszker made a highlight reel catch that saved at least two runs. After Divine Child added another run in the top of the sixth, St. Clair made one last push in the bottom of the inning. Senior shortstop Jacob Cronenworth, a Michigan commit, scored on an error to make the score 5-2. But it proved to be too little too late, as Schmidtke struck out the last batter in the sixth and cruised through the seventh unscathed.
The day was definitely Divine Child's, and most notably Zack Schmidtke's. His home run in the first inning built momentum that was unmatchable for St. Clair, and it showed throughout the game. The Saints finish the year 30-6, and the future looks bright as they return all but two seniors next year. Divine Child moves on to face Grand Rapids Christian in the state semis (Friday, 3:00pm, Bailey Park).