Madison Heights Bishop Foley pitcher Mike Murley admitted he didn’t have his best control on the mound Thursday afternoon.
Yet it was still good enough for a no-hitter going into the seventh inning of the Catholic League Class C-D championship Thursday at Comerica Park — and good enough in the end for a 3-0 win over Pontiac Notre Dame Prep. It was the Ventures’ third consecutive league championship, and Prep’s second straight runner up.
“It was great especially because I didn’t have full control of my stuff midway through the game, so to be in the seventh with the chance to close it out with a no-hitter was a good feeling,” Murley said. “I did it for my team. I wanted to pitch good and not let them down, so it was good.”
Murley (7-0) was stepping in for the Catholic League Athlete of the Year, pitcher Garrett Schilling, who was drilled on the mound by a baseball just below his left eye socket in late April and is still recovering from surgery. Schilling was in uniform and went to the mound during warm-ups to throw one pitch in the Detroit Tigers’ home park.
“It was good to step in,” Murley said. “It’s fun playing out here at Comerica. To start on the mound is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was nice to get the ‘W’ for the team.
“I was psyching myself out a little bit,” Murley added about going to the mound in the last inning with a no-hitter on the line. “I just wanted to go in there, throw strikes, let them hit the ball, but unfortunately he (Jacob DePillo) got one right over my first baseman’s head. I wanted to go ahead and pitch to contact, get outs that way, because I have a great defense behind me.”
Bishop Foley hitters David Chung and Brad Baldwin also made good contact, driving in three runs in the fifth inning. Austin Lukaschewski scored on Baldwin’s single, before Baldwin and Murley scored on Chung’s single to leftfield.
“I had a couple opportunities with guys on base, and luckily I shortened up (on the bat) and just drove the ball with a couple strikes on me,” Chung said. “I was able to get the job done. As a senior, being here more than once, I just knew it was another game, but my last one at Comerica so I was going to go out and have some fun today; have some fun at the plate and didn’t put any pressure on myself.
“Prep is a great team,” Chung added. “Will (Mullen) threw a great game. But we came out ready to play, knew we had to get the job done.”
Schilling said playing one more time at Comerica would have been great, but winning Athlete of the Year was very meaningful.
“Getting that award helps bring my mood up, helps up with my morale,” Schilling said. “It’s a really big accomplishment so I’m pretty happy.
“It’s a process, I have to be patient, learn how to deal with it,” he added about a possible return to the lineup. “I can’t push myself. Our team is great out there. They’re my family and they’re fighting for me.”