Throwback Thursday: Shepherd Goes Back to Back

MISportsNow’s Throwback Thursday is looking back at northern Michigan’s greatest games, from buzzer beaters to state finals. This marks the seventh in the biweekly series.

BATTLE CREEK – Behind 13 unanswered runs, Shepherd captured its second straight MHSAA Division 3 state championship with a 13-6 win over Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard in the 2010 state final at Battle Creek’s C.O. Brown Stadium.

After spotting Gabriel Richard four runs in the first inning and two in the second, Shepherd got within two runs with a four-run top third and tacked on five more runs in the fourth to take a 9-6 lead.

The Bluejays, who finished the year with an impressive 40-3 record, stretched four more insurance runs across the plate over the final three innings, including three in the seventh, to win their second straight title.

“That was a no-quitter right there,” Shepherd coach Jack Nartker said after the game. “That was as good as high school baseball gets. That’s why I coach. That was good stuff.”

Colton Loomis weathered the storm early to pick up the win, giving up six earned runs on four hits while striking out 10 and walking four over seven innings. Loomis helped his cause at the plate, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored.

Troy Stressman led the way at the plate, going 2-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs, while Kenny Wesley was 1-for-5 with three RBIs. In all, nine Bluejays tallied a hit.

Gabriel Richard committed six errors in the game and was outhit 12-4.

The win marked Shepherd’s second state title after posting a 4-0 win over Blissfield in the 2009 title game. The Bluejays finished runner-up to Homer in the 2004 Division 3 final.

Shepherd reached the state finals with postseason wins over Reese (5-2) and Clare (6-2) in regional play, a 1-0 quarterfinal victory over Kalkaska and 3-0 shutout of Bath in the semifinals.

Nartker would coach his final game in 2016, capping off a career that began in 1990 with a 647-288-7 overall record.

Categories: Baseball