EAST LANSING – Travis Moyer and Portland St. Patrick were chasing a historic ending to a season that will go down as one of the best in school history.
The Shamrocks didn’t quite get that ending they were hoping for.
The wait will continue for the first baseball state title in school history for St. Patrick, which suffered a 10-3 loss to Sterling Heights Parkway Christian in Saturday’s Division 4 state championship game at Michigan State’s McLane Stadium.
Moyer, Brady Lehman and Nick Coyne each drove in runs for St. Patrick, which won a school record 34 games while finishing as the state runner-up for the fourth time in school history.
“We tied for the furthest (our school has) made it for a tournament run, (and had the) most wins in school history,” St. Patrick coach Bryan Scheurer said. “They have a very good argument to say they are the best team in school history. That isn’t anything to hang your head about and again, the way they did it makes it even better.”
Portland St. Patrick (34-7) reached the state championship game for the first time since 1993 and knocked off two ranked teams – defending state champion and No. 3 Muskegon Catholic Central and No. 8 Gaylord St. Mary – in its strong tournament run.
“We played great through the tournament,” St. Patrick junior outfielder Graham Smith said. “Parkway – they are a great team and play against great competition down in the Detroit area. You can’t take that away from them. They have a lot of good athletes and a lot of great players. We played to what we can play. Can’t take that away.”
St. Patrick had allowed just eight runs in its six state tournament games prior to Saturday, but Parkway Christian belted 13 hits while exceeding that total. The Eagles scored in every inning but the first and fourth and took control with five runs against Moyer in the second.
Jacob Bambrick and Pierce Banks each drove in runs before a Riley McManus two-run double to left field capped the scoring in the five-run second inning for Parkway Christian (23-11-1).
The Shamrocks cut into that lead by drawing four walks in the third with a base on balls drawn by Coyne plating Brandon Scheurer. Parkway Christian added a run in each the third and fifth innings and scored three in the sixth as it captured its first baseball state championship.
And while the ending wasn’t ideal for Moyer, who gave up five earned runs in two-plus innings while suffering the loss, he is proud of what the Shamrocks came together to accomplish and will always remember playing with a group he called his best friends.
“I think this year has been a great year for me and for my team,” Moyer said. “It’s been a great experience and a learning experience for all of us. We set the bar pretty high for the next classes coming up to play.”
Contact Brian Calloway at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.