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Posted: 05/22/13

Above, Josh Hinkley in position to catch the ball in attempt to tag the St. Clair runner. Below top, Greg Antoine sliding into home plate after stealing third base in the game against St. Clair. Below bottom, 10th-grader and first baseman, Jake Kulczycki, catching the ball thrown to him by the pitcher to keep the St. Clair runner from stealing.

(Observer photos by Mike Nicley)

Week starts out weak ends
strong for varsity baseball team

Observer Sports Writer
      Nothing went right for the Romeo High varsity baseball team at the start of the week, but at least it ended well.
       The Bulldogs started with two big games against St. Clair with a chance to win the MAC White title but wound up losing both.
       "I think all the guys were very disappointed to come up short of one of our goals," said Romeo Coach T. J. DeLamielleure. "We set a goal to be league champs and we had the opportunity to play for it but just came up short against a very good team. In the end, they played better baseball than us the past two games and consequently they are league champs."
       St. Clair 14, Romeo 4:
       Monday, May 13, at St. Clair, the Bulldogs led 4-0 before the Saints erupted for nine runs in the fifth inning to earn the win.
       Starting pitcher Greg Antoine, who had been a consistent winner for the Bulldogs, suffered the loss.
       "Greg had some control issues early and it got him into trouble," said DeLamielleure. "The score was a little deceiving."
       Ryan Price led the offense for Romeo going 2-for-3, with one RBI; Joe Gardner was 1-for-2, with a double, Josh Hinkley had a double and one RBI and Jesse Rometty was 1-for-1 with one RBI.
       "This was a big game and our guys were up for it," said DeLamielleure. "We jumped to an early 4-0 lead but just couldn't get the job done defensively. Our strength all year has been pitching and defense and I am confident it will continue to be, however it just wasn't there today."
       St. Clair 8, Romeo 1:
       Wednesday, May 15, at Romeo Eric Shankin had two hits including a double and Derek Staelgraeve and Antoine had one hit each for the Bulldogs who ended tied with Grosse Pointe North for second place in the MAC White division with a 7-3 record.
       Starting pitcher Alec Padilla suffered the loss.
       "Alec made a few mistakes and they really made him pay," said DeLamielleure of his big right-hander. "They are a very good team and I was very impressed with how well they swung the bats."
       L'Anse Creuse North 3, Romeo 2:
       Thursday, May 16, at Romeo, the Bulldogs came up short in a MAC-crossover game.
       Starting pitcher Jesse Rometty allowed just two earned runs on five hits and struck out one in seven innings for the loss.
       "Jesse did great for us today," said DeLamielleure. "We simply supplied him with no run support. I thought Jesse did everything we asked him to do. He allowed our defense to play and gave us an opportunity to win."
       Offensively, the Bulldogs were led by Staelgraeve who went 2-for-3; Hinkley, Shankin, Padilla, Antoine and Jason Sammut each had one hit in three at bats.
       "I think we had a bit of a mental let down in this game," continued DeLamielleure. "It was tough on our guys losing the previous two to St. Clair and I think we were still feeling it on Thursday. We definitely did not play up to our capabilities."
       Romeo 5, Lamphere 3:
       Friday, May 17, at Lamphere, the Bulldogs broke their short losing streak with a win against the Rams.
       Antoine allowed two earned runs on five hits, walked two and struck out six to earn the win.
       "I thought this game was very important for Greg's confidence," said DeLamielleure of the junior right-hander. "After Monday he needed to get back to the way he has been pitching all year and he did that. He gave up a couple early runs but was very good after that."
       Staelgraeve had one hit and two RBIs to lead the offense. Price, Shankin and Tommy Schneider each had two hits and Hinkley, Gardner, Padilla and Kevin Ketvirtis had one hit apiece.
       "We needed to get back to winning baseball games and I thought we did that and did a nice job of climbing out of an early hole," added DeLamielleure. "I was proud of the way we played defensively."
       Romeo 5, Lamphere 0:
       In game two on Friday, Pax Pfeil allowed no runs on three hits walked two and struck out six to earn the win in his varsity debut.
       "Pax did an outstanding job," said DeLamielleure. "He really did a nice job of keeping his composure and we played great defense behind him."
       Gardner led the offense with two hits and two RBIs; Hinkley went 3 ¬≠for-4, with three runs scored. Staelgraeve was 1-for-2, with one RBI and Padilla and Devin Mitchell each had one hit.
       "With the week we had early on it was very important for our confidence to go out and win two tonight," concluded DeLamielleure. "A split was not good enough and we were able to take two. They were a good team and we had to play good ball to get the victories. Hopefully we will use these wins to get ourselves onto another role heading into post season."

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