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Riverview Gabriel Richard edges Monroe SMCC; dominates Dundee for regional title PHOTOS

  • Riverview Gabriel Richard edged Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 3-2 in the D3 Regional semifinals at Manchester and dominated Dundee 18-5 in the championship game. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Tufts)
  • Riverview Gabriel Richard pitcher Brennan Cox through 6.1 innings and struck out 15 Monroe St. Mary Catholic hitters in the Division 3 Regional semifinals. The Pioneers edged the Falcons 3-2 and then defeated Dundee 18-5 in the championship game. (MIPrepZone.com File Photo)
  • Riverview Gabriel Richard edged Monroe St. Mary Catholic 3-2 in the Division 3 Regional semifinals at Manchester and then defeated Dundee 18-5 in the championship game. (MIPrepZone.com File Photo)
  • Riverview Gabriel Richard edged Monroe St. Mary Catholic 3-2 in the Division 3 Regional semifinals at Manchester and then defeated Dundee 18-5 in the championship game. (MIPrepZone.com File Photo)
  • Riverview Gabriel Richard edged Monroe St. Mary Catholic 3-2 in the Division 3 Regional semifinals at Manchester and then defeated Dundee 18-5 in the championship game. (MIPrepZone.com File Photo)

With its second consecutive district championship under its belt, Riverview Gabriel Richard advanced through to Division 3 Regionals at Manchester on Saturday in hopes of continuing a bigger goal. Their semifinal tilt pitted them against Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central.

It turned into a close affair but it was the Pioneers (20-7) who advanced with a 3-2 victory in eight innings.

SMCC raced out to an early 2-0 lead in the top half of the first, leaving the Pioneers with the only option of chipping away at the Falcons' lead, and that they did.

It began in the fifth, when Jacob Hanoian grounded one to shortstop and a fielding error helped Shawn Szpaichler come in to score, cutting it to 2-1 at the time. They tied it up with two outs in their final at-bat in the seventh. An infield single from Zach Loewengruber plated Josh Tufts.

In the eighth, Richard completed the comeback when Tufts singled in Haydon Burke to cap off the thrilling victory.

The Pioneers got a brilliant outing from Brennan Cox, who went 6.1 innings and allowed just the two first-inning runs and he struck out 15 SMCC hitters. The game-winning hit by Tufts in the eighth was his third knock of the game.

After the win in the semifinals, something they fell short of doing a season ago, Richard dominated in their regional championship with an 18-5 win over Dundee.

Eight players had at least one hit and the squad finished with a total of 23 in the contest.

Burke was 4-for-5 with four RBIs, including a homer and a double, and he scored three runs.

Hanoian was 4-for-5 with two RBIs and four runs scored, Tufts was 4-for-5 with a trio of RBIs and two runs, Tuttle finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs and a run scored and Loewengruber was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a run.

Richard also got contributions from Szpaichler (2-4, RBI, R), Jac Lemiuex (2-5, 3 Rs), Zach Swain (1-5, RBI, R) and Andrew Szczechowski (2 Rs).

On the mound in the regional final, it was a three-man crew of Burke, Matthew Silka and Cole Atikinson combining to pitch all seven innings. Silka started in this game after relieving Cox in the semifinal. He followed up that 1.1 scoreless innings of work with three innings allowing two runs (both unearned), striking out six.

Burke closed things out on the bump for Richard, pitching the final 2.1 innings and allowing just one hit, needing just 24 pitches to do so.

Next up for the Pioneers is a state quarterfinal game against Madison Heights Bishop Foley on Tuesday at Carleton Airport at 4:30 p.m.

Last Updated: 6/11/2017 8:43:43 PM EST