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Bloomfield Hills springs an upset of Groves behind Henry's strong outing WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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The Black Hawks picked up a 5-2 win over the Falcons in Tuesday's playoff opener.

Game Info

Baseball - 5/30/2017 

Bloomfield Hills 5
Birmingham Groves 2
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BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Repeatedly rising to the occasion at crunch time, Bloomfield Hills flipped its underdog status on its head Tuesday to record a 5-2 win over state-ranked Birmingham Groves in a Division 1 district playoff opener.

The Black Hawks received a sterling pitching performance by junior Jacob Henry, whose calm and poise on the mound helped him escape multiple jams en route to a complete game victory. Henry struck out five batters and shut down a typically powerful Falcons offense when it counted most.

“I’m pleased that our guys stayed focused for all seven innings and Jacob was unflappable on the mound,” Bloomfield Hills coach Frank DiVito said of Henry, who came into the game with a 0.84 ERA and was unfazed by pressure situations.

“That’s his temperament and the way he is. You have to be that way to be a pitcher. You can’t get too high when things are going well or too low when they aren’t. That’s the way he’s been ever since I’ve known him.”

A two-out, two-run double by Bloomfield Hills junior Alex McCormack in the top of the seventh inning gave his team some needed insurance runs. McCormack crushed a ball over the left fielder’s head to turn a one-run game into a 5-2 spread, scuttling the momentum Groves may have gained in finally getting on the board moments earlier.

Henry retired the final three batters without incident to send Bloomfield Hills on to a district semifinal meeting with Birmingham Brother Rice on Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Falcons missed out on several early opportunities to put runs on the board, most notably in the fourth when the bases were left loaded following a strikeout by their cleanup hitter. In the fifth inning, a deflating double play turned by the Black Hawks’ defense ended another threat.

“We didn’t have timely hits. We let some errors defensively get to us,” Groves coach Shawn Morrison said. “Baseball is one of those games where you have a love-hate relationship with it. Bloomfield Hills just outplayed us. May 30th, 2017 just wasn’t our day.”

The Black Hawks scored single runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings – each driven in by senior Max Mohring, who found different ways to bring his teammates around to score.

“Max had been struggling a little bit earlier in the year, but he’s so solid catching behind the plate, so we’d never take him out of the lineup. He’s so important to our pitching staff and our defense,” DiVito said.

Groves finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when a throwing error on a successful stolen base allowed one run to score and another to come home from third on a sacrifice fly by senior Max Novick, who also pitched effectively for the Falcons.

McCormack’s clutch double in the next half inning undid Groves’ progress, however, ultimately ending the Falcons’ season with a 30-7 record.

“I don’t think there’s an opportune time for a season to end,” Morrison said. “You have good guys that you know you’ll miss and it’s hard to end it like this. We came out here with expectations and we wanted to cause trouble in this district and regionals and the state. We had a lot of our lofty goals shot down with one bad game.”

Bloomfield Hills, the co-champion of the OAA Blue Division, improved to 20-12. The Black Hawks have lost to their next opponent, Brother Rice, in extra innings each of the past two seasons.

Last Updated: 5/30/2017 8:21:19 PM EST


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