Mesick makes first regional final since 2008, Spencer nearing state steals record

·3 min read

Jun. 11—MESICK — Tim Parrish hadn't even looked at the bracket to see who his team plays next.

He would have Wednesday, but instead the Mesick baseball coach spent that time cleaning up mud after spending two hours getting the fields to playable condition.

No. 9-ranked Mesick advanced to the Division 4 regional finals for the first time since 2008 after an 18-3 win Thursday over Mason County Eastern. The game took two days to finish because of flooding from a severe thunderstorm Wednesday.

The Bulldogs used three pitchers — each of which stayed under 50 pitches to make them eligible to play in Saturday's regional final in Clare against Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary. An outing of 51-75 pitches requires a two day rest.

"That was my game plan going in — nobody throwing over 50," Parrish said.

Thunderstorms left the Bulldog's home field flooded late Wednesday night. The game was suspended in the bottom of the first inning. Coaches spent two hours that night to get the field ready to host the remainder of the game Thursday, but the press box was still without power. The cause is believed to be because of a lightning strike.

"There was a good six to seven inches of water flowing across home plate," Parrish said.

Cole Spencer stole four bases to move him in second place in the state's single season records. He's now at 73 for the season, only trailing Jack Ropp of Concord (2012 season), who holds the record at 79.

"A lot of times Cole's fast enough, he's already on second base," Parrish said. "I've actually had to have him return from third base back to first base on a long fly to the outfield. His athleticism is incredible."

Connor Simmer was the winning pitcher, throwing 10 pitches with one inning Wednesday to make him eligible to play Thursday. He threw 50 over the next 2.2 innings with four strikeouts and left the game for Spencer in relief.

Simmer, Spencer and Gabe Parrish combined for four hits and one earned run.

Caleb Linna led the Bulldogs at the plate with three doubles and a single on six at-bats, scoring three runs. Spencer, Ben Parrish, Simmer, Sisson and Linna each drove in two runs. Mesick walked 14 times.

This past fall, many of the same athletes led Mesick to win a football playoff game for the first time in school history.

"They're an extremely awesome group of kids. I've been working with them in football and baseball for many years," Parrish said. "For football and baseball, through Pop Warner some of them, I've been lucky enough to be their varsity baseball coach."

First pitch for the regional final with No. 15 Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary (14-18) is 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Saginaw MLS beat Mio 14-4 Wednesday.

The other side of the bracket has No. 13 Muskegon Catholic Central (19-9) and unranked Marlette.

Follow Andrew Rosenthal on Twitter @ByAndrewR