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Bishop Foley holds off Caro in D3 semifinal, 3-2 WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Game Info

Baseball - 6/16/2017 9 a.m.

Caro 2
Madison Heights Bishop Foley 3
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EAST LANSING – Entering Friday’s Division 3 semifinal, the Madison Heights Bishop Foley baseball team hadn’t been challenged in the postseason.

Outscoring its five playoff opponents 67-1, it appeared the only thing that could get in the Ventures way was themselves.

Foley did manage to get in its own way on Friday, but the Ventures overcame their mistakes to hold off Caro for a 3-2 win from Michigan State University.

“I told them that the only team that is going to beat us in this whole run is ourselves,” Bishop Foley coach Greg Fettes said. “As you see, we started to beat ourselves and that’s why (Caro) started scoring runs. They were giving us outs and we just weren’t capitalizing. We were throwing the ball around and beating ourselves. We haven’t done that all year. We looked like a little league team for a minute, but good teams find a way to win and that is what we did.”

The Ventures (24-12) brought a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning and junior pitcher Ethan Hoffman had a no-hitter through five. Caro (15-22) started the inning with a triple by Dylan Brown. Conner Langenburg brought him in with a bunt single and then a pair of throwing errors by Foley allowed Langenburg to get to home plate as well.

Foley managed to get out of the jam with the tying run on base and then Hoffman shut the door on the comeback with a perfect seventh inning.

“It was a little nerve wracking,” Hoffman said of taking the mound in the seventh. “(Caro) had a little momentum from the sixth, but I just tried to stay calm and not let it get to me. I have a lot of trust in my teammates and know they can make plays behind me.”

It was Hoffman’s pitching that was the story early. He retired the first 12 batters he faced and finished the game with 11 strikeouts with just one walk and two hits allowed.

“Hoff and I had a conversation last night at the hotel and obviously there are a lot of nerves (in a semifinal) but I just explained to him that if he pounded the zone, he was going to be fine,” Fettes said. “That is exactly what he did.”

Hoffman got some early run support as Evan Finegan singled in Max Stevenson in the first inning. Payton Schuster reached on an error in the third and then got to home on a second Caro error to make it 2-0. The final Foley run came in the fifth when Justin Campbell singled in Schuster.

Foley had scored at least eight runs in their previous five playoff games but Caro pitcher Deven Hodder held the Ventures to five hits and two walks with one strikeout.

“Most of their games (Bishop Foley) has opened up big leads and I told our guys we weren’t going to allow that. Deven Hodder pitched a phenomenal game for us,” Caro coach Victor Gomez said. “All season he has done that.”

Bishop Foley advances to Saturday’s Division 3 final at 2:30 p.m. where it will face Traverse City. St. Francis on MSU’s campus. The Ventures are seeking their first state championship since 2013.

“Our guys will be ready,” Fettes said.

Senior Justin Campbell will be pitching for the Ventures in the final.

Last Updated: 6/16/2017 1:55:42 PM EST

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