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Bloomfield Hills picked up a pair of wins over Berkley on Monday. Due to technical issues, a photo gallery from Monday's games isn't available. (MIPrepZone File photo by DAN FENNER)

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Bloomfield Hills sweeps Berkley to stay atop OAA Blue

Bloomfield Hills picked up a pair of wins over Berkley on Monday. Due to technical issues, a photo gallery from Monday's games isn't available. (MIPrepZone File photo by DAN FENNER)

Championship week began with a scare Monday for the Bloomfield Hills High School baseball team. But the Black Hawks escaped with a much needed 4-1 and 3-2 sweep of young and improving Berkley who are trying to play spoilers in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

Bloomfield Hills is locked in a tight race for the division crown with Auburn Hills Avondale and no one knows the importance of this week better than winning pitchers Jacob Henry and Dugan Fife who twirled complete games against the Bears. That was important because Coach Frank Divito didn’t need to use ace Patrick Najor (6-0, 2.34 ERA) who pitched Saturday and can be used later in championship week. Henry and Fife used different tactics to navigate through the Bears’ pesky lineup but enjoyed similar results.

Henry stayed ahead in the count by panting the corners with his fastball. Fife set up the Bears with his curve ball and carved them up with his fastball.

“I wanted to use my off speed which made my fastball look faster,” Fife said.

Bloomfield Hills (17-7, 6-3 OAA Blue) needs a perfect week to clinch a title. Monday was a good start and the two teams will battle again at Bloomfield Hills in a single game Wednesday. The Black Hawks then will complete a suspended game against Troy Athens where they hold a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning.

That’s all well and good for Fife who wants to win a division title. But he eyes a bigger prize – a big run during the state tournament.

“We want to make a bigger run (in state) than we have in the past,” Fife said.

Let’s get the jokes out of the way. This Dugan Fife is not related to the Dugan Fife that made his mark with the University of Michigan basketball team. People ask Fife all the time if he is the long lost son. The poor guy is growing tired of the jokes. This Fife is his own man and owns a wicked curve ball that kept Berkley off balanced most of the evening.

But Berkley (5-14) hardly played like a team playing out the string. It was pesky and dangerous, especially on defense where spectacular plays kept it in the game. One stand out was third baseman Jake Serwa who speared line drives, handled tough choppers and spear-headed a bizarre double play where the Bears got two players out at second base.

The Bears are a classic close but no cigars team. They are playing for the future with a young team and hope today’s heartache leads to title banners in the future. They had chances to win both games but could not get clutch hits. They trailed 4-1 in the first game but loaded the bases with one out in the seventh. Henry wiggled out of trouble after giving up singles to Wyatt Deeds, Tae Whinham and Serwa. He got out of the inning with a line out and strike out.

Berkley took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning of the night cap on a run-scoring single by Dylan Burke. But Bloomfield Hills rallied for two runs in the sixth. Two walks paved the way for a run scoring fielder’s choice by Max Rosenfeld. Another run scored on a pass ball.

“We don’t know how to win yet,” said Berkley coach Matthew Rawlik. “We have lost a number of one run games this season.”

Bloomfield Hills hopes to finish championship with a bang while Berkley hopes its championship future begins next season.

Last Updated: 5/16/2017 2:28:42 PM EST


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