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2014 All-News-Herald Dream Team PHOTO GALLERY

  • Austin Petravicius - Roosevelt
  • Brett Murray - Trenton
  • Drew Johnson - Trenton
  • Alexis Santos - Lincoln Park
  • Evan Kraatz - Inter-City
  • David Szczesny - Cabrini
  • Tommy Daly - Grosse Ile
  • Luke Barber - Inter-City
  • Tyler Thorington - Roosevelt
  • Tyler Chase - Riverview
  • Tyler Butzin - Kennedy
  • Zachary Kohn - Carlson

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Although cold and rainy weather wreaked havoc on schedules early on, eventually Downriver baseball players were able to lace up their cleats and hit the field in 2014.

Once things were in full swing, young Trenton and Roosevelt teams both got out to strong starts in Downriver League play and both stayed tough down the stretch. When it was all said and done, the Bears and Trojans split the league title, each with identical 15-3 records in league play.

In the Division 2 playoffs, Trenton knocked off River Rouge in the district semifinals and then beat host Grosse Ile for the district title. To advance to the finals, the Red Devils had beaten Riverview in the semis.

A week later, the Trojans took down Hamtramck in the regional semis and then beat South Lyon East for the regional crown. In the state quarterfinals, the locals fell to eventual state runner-up Richmond, but even with the defeat had already set a school record for victories with 34.

Roosevelt beat Truman in the Division 1 pre-districts, but four days later was upset by Carlson in the semis and saw its season come to an end.

A talent-laden Kennedy team faced some early struggles in 2014, but got hot at the right time. The Eagles edged Anderson in Division 1 pre-districts and then dominated Woodhaven and Carlson to win their second consecutive district title.

Kennedy next traveled to Saline for regional action, where it edged Crestwood in the semis and then lost only 3-0 to the state-ranked host Hornets in the finals.

Lincoln Park also faced Saline at regionals and fell only 1-0 in the semis to the powerhouse squad. To earn their way there, the Railsplitters got by Edsel Ford in the district semis then crushed Dearborn High to take the district crown. In league play, Lincoln Park finished 11-7 and in third place in what was one of the best overall seasons in a long time for the much-improved Rails.

In Division 4, Inter-City easily earned its ninth consecutive district championship trophy, as it won the district semi and final games by a combined score of 30-0. At regionals, the Chargers knocked off Franklin Road Christian in the semis, but were dominated by state-ranked Parkway Christian in the finals.

Cabrini claimed another district title this year, as it crushed Ecorse in pre-districts and did the same to Henry Ford Academy in the semis and Richard in the finals. Unfortunately for the Monarchs, they ran into defending Division 3 state champs Bishop Foley in the regional semis and were bumped from the state tournament.

Meet the 2014 All-News-Herald Dream Team

Brett Murray, Trenton

A part-time player in 2013, Murray proved that he deserved a starting job in 2014 and then went on to become one of the best hitters in Division 2. The senior all-state second team selection led the regional champion Trojans with a .413 batting average in 104 at-bats, tied a school record with 13 doubles, was second on the team with 28 RBIs and tied for third in runs scored with 32. In the outfield, he had 43 putouts and committed only six errors.

Drew Johnson, Trenton

In his senior year, Johnson was one of the area’s most exciting players to watch. Blazing speed allowed the all-region centerfielder to track down nearly anything hit his way, as he finished with 66 putouts and only six errors. That quickness also helped Johnson, a MHSBCA All-Star selection, to steal a team-high 32 bases in 37 attempts. Also a talented hitter, the Marygrove College-commit and Trenton Team MVP finished with a .318 average and was always a threat to bunt his way on.

Tyler Butzin, Kennedy

Butzin headed into his first year with the Eagles as a Division 1 college prospect and wasted no time showing everyone why. In 68 innings pitched, the Annapolis transfer and junior lefty posted a 0.93 ERA, struck out 94 batters and yielded just 16 walks. The all-region selection tossed a no-hitter on May 16 and soon after guided Kennedy to a district title and regional final appearance. In the playoffs he pitched 25 innings, earned four victories, two of which came in the same day, yielded just 11 hits and five walks and had 31 strikeouts. Offensively, he was also a major threat for the Eagles all season, as he was third on the team in runs scored with 25, third in stolen bases with 16 and fourth in RBIs with 16.

Alexis Santos, Lincoln Park

In what was a big year for Lincoln Park baseball, which included a district title, Santos led the way with both his arm and his bat. On the mound, the junior was one of the league’s toughest and most durable pitchers, as he finished with a 1.82 ERA, along with 65 strikeouts and a 5-3 record in 57.2 innings pitched. Offensively, he led the Railsplitters in multiple categories, including batting average (.384), RBIs (29) and extra-base hits (13) and he was second on the team in runs scored (23) to only his brother, Joel Santos (26). In addition to his achievements on the diamond, he also has a 4.1 grade point average and scored a 28 on the ACT.

Zachary Kohn, Carlson

Just a sophomore, Kohn had a spectacular year for the Marauders both on the hill and at the plate. In 35.1 innings of work, he finished with a 4-1 record, a 0.59 ERA, 40 strikeouts and only 17 walks allowed. In the district semifinal game, Kohn shut out league champion Roosevelt and guided his team to a 1-0 upset victory and a chance to play for the district title. Offensively in 2014, he finished with a .311 batting average, drove in 22 runs, scored 25 times, had 12 stolen bases and got on base 18 times courtesy of walks.

Austin Petravicius, Roosevelt

Petravicius was an offensive machine for the league champion Bears in 2014. The Davenport University-commit hit .416 in 110 at-bats and drove in 22 runs in what was his senior season. The MHSBCA All-Star Game selection blasted four homers, two of which were hit back-to-back in a postseason game, had 21 total extra-base hits, drew 25 walks and only struck out 10 times. Once on base, he created a new headache for the opposition, as he stole 26 bases and came around to score a total of 41 times. In addition to his all-star appearance, Petravicius was also chosen to participate in the Muscle Milk Home Run Derby on July 17th.

Evan Kraatz, Inter-City

Kraatz finished off a phenomenal high school athletic career at Inter-City at or near the top of most of the Chargers’ offensive categories this spring. On the diamond, the Division 4, all-state second team selection hit .514 with 38 hits in 74 at-bats, scored 37 runs, had 10 extra-base hits and stole 24 bases in 26 attempts. On the mound, Kraatz threw 13.1 innings for Inter-City and finished with a 3.59 ERA, two saves and nine strikeouts. Before the baseball season started, the three-sport athlete was named the 2013-14 state basketball Class D Player of the Year in a season where became the state’s all-time leader in assists.

Luke Barber, Inter-City

After taking on the role of pitching staff ace last year as a sophomore, Barber picked up right where he left off and went on to another big season. This time, however, an overall impressive year both on the mound and at the dish earned him Division 4 first team all-state honors. On the hill, he wrapped up 2014 with a 2.45 ERA in 45.2 innings pitched and a 5-3 record, along with 27 strikeouts and 21 walks allowed. At the plate, Barber hit .419 in 74 at-bats and had a team-high 26 RBIs and nine doubles. He also scored 20 runs and was a perfect 11-for-11 on stolen-base attempts.

David Szczesny, Cabrini

Szczesny came up big for the Monarchs in 2014 and helped guide the squad to another district title in what was his senior year. At the plate, he hit a team-high .415 and tied for the team lead in RBIs with 21. Also, he drew 19 walks, stole 13 bases and came in to score 15 times. As the ace of the Cabrini pitching staff, Szczesny struck out 54 batters in 58 innings of work, won six games, posted a 2.65 ERA and also picked up one save along the way.

Tommy Daly, Grosse Ile

After another strong season with the Red Devils, Daly is back on the All-News-Herald Dream Team for 2014. For the past three years, the three-sport standout athlete has been one of the best third basemen in the area and has had a big bat to go along with it. Last year, as a junior, he finished with a .431 average and this season managed to improve 13 points and wrapped up with a .444. He also finished out his high school baseball career having earned all-league and all-district honors three times.

Tyler Chase, Riverview

One of three sophomores on this year’s All-News-Herald Dream Team, Chase followed up a big freshman year with yet another outstanding performance in 2014. He wrapped up the 2014 campaign with a total of 28 hits, which earned him a .418 batting average for the year. As the squad’s starting catcher, he’s been widely praised for his overall strong defense behind the plate and has a bright future ahead of him in Riverview.

Tyler Thorington, Roosevelt

Thorington spent 2014 mowing down opposing hitters at an incredible rate for the league champion Bears. In what was only his sophomore season, he served as the ace of the Roosevelt pitching staff and was 8-2 in 11 appearances. Overall, Thorington posted a 1.62 ERA in a total of 56 innings pitched, struck out 85 batters and allowed only 28 walks and 31 hits all year. In addition to his powerful arm, Thorington swung a big bat for the Bears and was near the top in most offensive categories. Also, this spring marked his third consecutive varsity sport, as he was a basketball standout last winter and was a member of the football team in the fall.

Last Updated: 8/5/2014 8:20:02 PM EST