By MICKEY ALVARADO
A 3-0 victory over Chelsea in the Division 2, District 54 semifinal at Jackson Northwest had Tecumseh’s varsity baseball team advance to the championship where the Indians defeated the hosting Mounties 4-3 for the title.
“Pitching and defense wins a lot of games and it showed today,” said Tecumseh coach Tom Bullinger.
Stephen Bilotta started on the mound for Tecumseh and went six innings before being relieved. The Indians went to the bottom of the sixth inning trailing 3-1 but a three run rally set up a showdown in the seventh.
The Indians come-from-behind rally was set up with a walk to Tecumseh’s Jordan Guenther and a double from Bilotta. With men on second and third, Matt Napieralski grounded out to send in Guenther while a double by Connors had Bilotta sent home. A single by Moore scored Connors and what proved to be the winning run.
“They know that we’ve got to play all the way to the end, the very last out. I think we’ve learned that this year,” said Bullinger.
A change in pitching staff got the Mounties out of the rest of the inning.
The Indians also went to the bullpen, sending in Hooper’s fresh arm for the final inning. Backed by a solid defense, he was able to secure the victory. Hooper walked the Mounties’ lead-off batter and a bunt and error followed that had Northwest in scoring position. Tecumseh catcher Jared Powell tagged out an aggressive run home with a bullet from Guenther but a runner remained on third base with two outs recorded. Hooper settled down and helped the Indians secure the hard-fought victory.
Bilotta struck out five in the win while Hooper struck out one.
Moore gave up four hits and no runs while striking out five to earn the win against Chelsea.
The Indians gathered around the Division 2, district championship trophy after rallying from behind to defeat Northwest 4-3. It was the second consecutive district title for the Indians. Photo by MICKEY ALVARADO.