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Big inning propels Divine Child; will meet Lutheran North in quarters PHOTO GALLERY

  • Divine Child players celebrate with the Division 2 regional championship trophy, the school's ninth all time. (Photo by Bill Roose)
  • Senior Dillon Champagne crosses the plate with Divine Child's final run in the sixth inning of a 12-2 mercy-rule win over Livonia Clarenceville. (Photo by Bill Roose)
  • Josh Lucas (13) heads to first base as a courtesy runner for starting pitcher Dillon Champagne (23) in the second inning. (Photo by Bill Roose)

Game Info

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LIVONIA >> One big inning propelled Divine Child to its ninth regional championship on Saturday afternoon at Ilitch Ballpark on the Madonna University campus.

A two-run triple by sophomore Kyle Gurney and a mammoth home run off the bat of senior CJ Breen lifted the Falcons to a 12-2 victory over Clarenceville in a Division 2 regional final.

The Falcons hammered out 11 hits, including five for extra bases.

“That was a great inning and the top of our order has done a really nice job,” Divine Child coach Dan Deegan said. “Zac Krauss, Isaac Jones and Nick Gurney have been the table setters, and the middle of the order has been as hot as well with Kyle Gurney, Scott Combs and CJ Breen. Our offense is finally balancing itself out and we’re swinging some hot bats right now.”

The six-run fourth inning gave Divine Child a 9-2 cushion.

There was no shortage of Falcons’ offense as Krause (two hits, two runs), Kyle Gurney (two, hits, two runs, three RBI) and Dillon Champagne (three hits, run, RBI) led the barrage.

“We kept it close but we didn’t have a lot of pitching to stay competitive,” Clarenceville coach Craig Cotter said. “But we kept it tight until they scored those six runs with two outs and that was a big deflater.”

Juniors Nick Bisaro and Logan Calimazzo hed two hits each to lead the Trojans (15-12).

Divine Child scored single runs in the first, second and third innings. But only had a 3-2 lead after the Trojans manufactured a pair of runs on one hit in the bottom of the second inning. The Falcons added two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to complete the mercy-rule win.

Meanwhile, Champagne, who pitched the first three innings, led three DC pitchers who held Clarenceville’s batters in check, limiting them to five hits. Senior pitchers Josh Lucas and Dan Bullard worked in relief for the Falcons (22-19).

Divine Child will face Lutheran North in Tuesday’s Division 2 quarterfinal at 4 p.m. at Novi.

Divine Child reached the regional finals with a 12-2 mercy-run win over South Lake in Saturday’s first semifinal game at Madonna. Clarenceville earned a 4-3 win over Hazel Park, which was the Trojans’ first-ever regional victory in school history.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the program from where we started four years ago,” Cotter said. “The district we won was just the fourth in school history, so I’m really proud of these kids.”

Last Updated: 6/10/2017 8:06:31 PM EST