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Kennedy falls to Saline in regional final PHOTO GALLERY

  • After a rough first inning, Tyler Butzin and the Kennedy Eagles settled down and gave host Saline a tough battle, but came up short 3-0 in what was the Division 1, Region 4 championship game. Photo gallery by Frank Wladyslawski

Game Info

Baseball - 6/7/2014 2:00 p.m.

Saline 3
Taylor Kennedy 0

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Coming off of a hard-fought victory against Crestwood in the regional semifinal, Kennedy had its hands full again in the title matchup with host Saline.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, they couldn’t rebound after a tough, three-run first inning and fell 3-0 to the state-ranked Hornets in the Division 1, Region 4 championship game.

Standing in the way of a comeback was starting pitcher and University of Michigan-commit Michael Hendrickson. The talented lefty took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and struck out 10 along the way, while walking only four batters.

Kennedy’s lone hit was an infield single in the seventh by Cody Serafin, who had also drawn two walks during the contest.

Two batters later Jalen Bartos walked for his second time, but was later retired at second on a fielder’s choice hit by Tim Kozar.

With runners at the corners and two outs, Hendrickson struck out Raymond Richard to end the game and launched his team into the quarterfinals.

While the defeat ended the 2014 campaign for the Eagles, reaching the regional final was still a testament to the squad’s resiliency this year, said Coach Corey Farner.

Early on, Kennedy struggled at times and then last month lost senior and University of Cincinnati-commit Matt Woloszyk to an injury.

“We’ve come a long way,” Farner said. “A lot of these guys didn’t play together last year and they made vast improvements as the season went on. We got hot at the right time and we started playing some good baseball.

“I’ve very proud of with how they responded and how they adjusted and that’s the reason we made it this far.”

Saline got on the board in the first inning after a wild pitch with the bases loaded scored Joey Sweigart. Next up, Hendrickson helped his own cause with an RBI single that plated Thomas Miller and Blake Jones singled to knock in Trent Theisen.

It was all Kennedy starter Tyler Butzin would allow and over the next six innings the standout junior left yielded just two more hits and two walks. In his seven innings of work, Butzin allowed three earned runs, struck out four, gave up six hits and issued only the two free passes.

Down the stretch, the Eagles also made some phenomenal plays in the field, including diving catches by Jake McLeod in right field and catcher Dion Craig behind the plate, as well as a nice grab by Kozar in left and a hard liner back at the mound that was snagged by Butzin.

The Eagles finished the season with an overall record of 23-13 and will head into next year as the two-time defending district champs.

Last Updated: 6/7/2014 9:44:23 PM EST