Jake Balicki tossed a two-hit, complete-game gem Friday night to lead the Michigan Rams to a 2-0 victory over A Green in a Livonia Michigan Collegiate Baseball League game played at Livonia’s Ford Field.
The victory clinched the LMCBL title for the Rams (25-8-1) and earned them a berth in this week’s NABF college division national tournament in Toledo.
The Rams will open the tournament at 9 a.m. Thursday when they square off against the Capitol City Reds at Toledo’s Bowman Park. Following a couple-hour break, the Rams will take on the Capitol City Athletics at 3 p.m. at Korber Field in Toledo.
The Rams’ third game is set for 9 a.m. Friday at Korber Field against the Crystal Lake (Ill.) Cardinals.
Balicki was lights-out in the title-clinching game as he struck out 12 while yielding just five base runners.
The Rams made efficient use of their two hits, plating a run without a hit in the top of the first before adding an insurance marker in the sixth.
Anthony DiPonio did the most damage for the winners, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Zack McGuire knocked in a run while Westen Price scored the game’s only two runs.
Ryan Blake-Jones and Chris Houle laced the only hits off Balicki, who pitches for the University of Michigan.
The loss dropped A Green to 14-20.
On Saturday, the Rams closed their season with an exciting 4-3 setback to the Bulls (25-10). Maverick Prine was a beast at the plate for the Bulls, going 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI. Alex Fultz also knocked in a run for the winners.
DiPonio was the lone Ram to pick up two hits. Nolan Page, Ben Hart and Zack Schmidtke added RBI.
The Rams led 3-2 until the bottom of the seventh when Prine belted a walk-off two-run home run to make a winner out of relief pitcher Jack Hranec (three innings, three strikeouts, three walks). Page suffered the loss for the Rams, who were outhit 8-5.