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Mike Riehls

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Grosse Pointe South senior Eddie Champane, seated center, gave his approval to play college baseball for head coach Mike Ott at Kalamazoo College in the fall. The Hornets fi nished 10-30 this season. Joining Champane for his celebration were, standing from left, parents George and Patti Champane; and sitting from left, South pitching coach John Hackett, Champane, and head coach Dan Griesbaum. Photo by Renee Landuyt
June 13, 2013
Grosse Pointe South’s boys’ baseball team ended its season the same way it did in 2012, losing in a Division 1 regional championship game.

The host Blue Devils lost a tough 4-3 game to U-D Jesuit, ending their season 20-16-1 overall.

“We came so close and it’s disappointing we lost,” head coach Dan Griesbaum said. “We hit the ball hard and battled back, but just came up short. We had our chances in the final inning.”

The Blue Devils fell behind 4-0 before junior Adam Eaton blasted a long solo homer over the left field fence in the bottom of the sixth, making it 4-1.

In their final at-bat, senior David Wittwer popped out for the first out, but junior Colden Gosselin singled.

Junior Jimmy Menchl singled and senior Jack Doyle doubled them home, making it 4-3. The home crowd was on their feet, anticipating one more hit to win the game.

Senior Carmen Benedetti was intentionally walked, putting two runners on base with only one out.

Eaton struck out and senior George Fishback grounded out, ending the rally.

“It was quite a game and I’m proud of my players,” Griesbaum said. “The guys played their best baseball the past few weeks.”

Menchl had three hits and Gosselin two to lead the offense, while junior Richie Kish started and suffered the loss. Kish pitched the first three innings, followed by Bendetti with two innings and Doyle with two innings.

Senior Eddie Champane couldn’t play after suffering an injury in practice a couple of days before the regional. His loss was felt by the entire team as Griesbaum had to juggle his lineup and defensive placements.

In the regional semifinal, South edged Livonia Stevenson 2-0. It was a revenge game since Stevenson upset South in last year’s regional championship game after the Blue Devils beat U-D Jesuit in the semifinal.

Doyle tossed another gem, going seven innings. He gave up only four hits, walked one and struck out 10.

“This is the best I’ve seen Jack Doyle pitch and his run the past couple of weeks has been tremendous,” Griesbaum said.

The Blue Devils only had two hits themselves. One was Eaton’s run-scoring single in the fourth inning. Eaton had two hits, while Menchl and junior Brett Bigham had the others.

“We made huge strides the past few weeks and we came close to making it to the quarterfinals,” Griesbaum said. “This group of guys worked hard.

“I have to thank my assistant coaches, John Hackett, Kevin Schroeder, Matt Reno and Dan Griesbaum Jr. for helping our program. My JV coaches, Dennis Clow, Kevin Crowley, Stephen Walworth and Peter Muer, and freshman coaches, Ryan Gunderson, Gary Richardson and Dick Swarthout also were instrumental in helping us build a solid program.”

Griesbaum loses Jacob Ygesias, Wittwer, Stephenson Brengman, Champane, Benedetti, Doyle, Fishback and Avery Duncan to graduation.

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