Gaylord St. Mary Returns to Semis Eyeing First State Title
GAYLORD – For the fourth straight season, the Gaylord St. Mary baseball program is back in East Lansing for the MHSAA Division 4 state semifinals.
Champions of the Ski Valley Conference, seventh-ranked St. Mary will face third-ranked Petersburg Summerfield in a semifinal at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Michigan State’s McLane Baseball Stadium.
The Snowbirds (26-5) are seeking their first state championship after taking Class D state runner-up honors in 1988 and 1989, while the Bulldogs are making their first-ever state semifinal appearance.
“This doesn’t happen all the time,” St. Mary coach Matt Nowicki said. “We have one of my assistant coaches played for me, graduated back in 2013. He tried to tell them the same thing. He said, ‘Hey, I played in two regional games in my entire career.’ Let alone going to East Lansing. So this is a special thing. It’s special every year. It doesn’t get old and it is very special.”
St. Mary is backing in the semifinals after recording postseason wins over Wolverine (24-0), Onaway (10-3), Central Lake (9-0), Johannesburg-Lewiston (15-6) and No. 16 Norway (14-9).
Junior centerfielder Brady Hunter leads the Snowbirds at the plate, batting .427 with 33 RBI, 47 runs scored and 25 stolen bases while junior pitcher/catcher is batting .400 with 10 doubles and 37 RBI while sporting an 11-4 record on the mound with a 2.56 earned run average and 95 strikeouts in 71 innings pitched.
Petersburg Summerfield (26-4) won the Tri-County Conference and punched its ticket to East Lansing with postseason wins over Morenci (12-0), Britton Deerfield (15-1), Adrian Lenawee Christian (8-0), Allen Park Inter-City Baptist (15-0), Dansville (14-1) and No. 15 Marine City Cardinal Mooney (11-0).
The winner of Friday’s contest will face either No. 5 Decatur (32-6) or Saginaw Nouvel (14-16-1) for the state championship at 5 p.m. Saturday.