2022 MHSAA Tournament: Division 4 State Final - Gabriel Richard Catholic vs Beal City

Bruce Hefflinger and Dylan Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer and Editor in Chief/Scout

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2022 MHSAA Tournament: Division 4 State Final - Gabriel Richard Catholic vs Beal City

EAST LANSING - A seventh-inning insurance run proved to be the game winner for Gabriel Richard Catholic in a 4-3 win over Beal City in the Division 4 state finals on Saturday.

A Nick Wisniewski single with two outs and the bases loaded extended a 3-2 lead by one in the top of the seventh and the unranked Pioneers held on for their first championship since winning the Division 3 crown in 2018.

Beal City managed to trim the deficit in half on a Brayden Haynes’ single in the bottom of the seventh, but freshman reliever Drew Everingham got out of the jam with a 6-4-3 double play grounder.

Ashton Nowak went 6.1 innings to pick up the victory for Gabriel Richard, allowing six hits and four walks while fanning four before Everingham came on for the save. The lefty hit Cayden Smith and then Haynes produced a run-scoring single before the double play from shortstop Connor Silka to second baseman Tylor Morehouse to first baseman Ryan Rainey.

Gabriel Richard never trailed, scoring one run in the third on a Silka RBI single to plate Brenden Hills who hit a one-out double, and the Pioneers added two in the fifth on a two-out two-run double by Bryan Tuttle, which scored Ashton Nowak, who walked, and Hills, who had a single. 

Beal City battled back with two in the last of the sixth on a two-out triple from Jack Fussman after singles by Haynes and Wade Wilson.

Haynes had a run-scoring single in the seventh, but the Pioneers escaped disaster with the double play and with it a state championship.

Silka, the winning pitcher in the semifinals against Rudyard, hit three singles to lead a 10-hit Gabriel Richard attack while Hills and Morehouse each had a single and double.

Haynes and Wade Wilson hit two singles apiece for Beal City, the top-rated D-4 team in Michigan which was trying to win state for the fourth time since 2009, winning championships in 2018, 2010 and 2009.


PLAYER OF THE GAME: Hills delivered a double and scored the first Gabriel Richard run in the third, then had a base hit and scored again in the fifth for the Pioneers, which lost 6-1 to eventual Division 3 state champion University Liggett in the 2021 quarterfinals.

DIVISION 4 MVP: Three hits in the state finals after not permitting an earned run while striking out 11 in the semifinals against Rudyard brings recognition to Silka, a Gabriel Richard senior, as the MVP of Division 4.


Gabriel Richard Catholic      001  020  1  -  4  10  0

Beal City                                  000  002  1  -  3   7  1

Records: Gabriel Richard Catholic 20-12, Beal City 30-3.

Winning Pitcher: Ashton Nowak (6.1 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits, 4 strikeouts, 4 walks). Other: Drew Everingham (0.2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 strikeouts, 0 walks).

Losing Pitcher: Brenden Martin (5 innings, 3 runs, 7 hits, 4 strikeouts, 2 walks). Other: Cayden Smith (2 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 3 strikeouts, 2 walks).

Leading Hitters: (Gabriel Richard Catholic) - Ashton Nowak run; Brenden Hills single, double, 2 runs; Tylor Morehouse single, double, run; Connor Silka 3 singles, RBI; Bryan Tuttle double, 2 RBIs; Nick Wisniewski single, RBI; Ryan Rainey single. (Beal City) - Kaiden Andrews double; Brayden Haynes 2 singles, run. RBI; Wade Wilson 2 singles, run; Jack Fussman triple, 2 RBIs; Konnor Wilson single; Jake Gauthier run.

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