LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – After losing to Grand Ledge in last year’s Dean Shippey Capital Diamond Classic championship game, the DeWitt Panthers came into this year’s showdown with St. Johns not wanting to repeat history. St. Johns has a roster full of talented players excited to be in their first Diamond Classic championship game. The first time St. Johns has made to the tournament finale since 2015.
The Panthers got on the board first in the top of the second inning, thanks to an RBI double from AJ Alicea. The Redwings responded in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two runs off RBIs from Jacob Bones and Brennan Feldpausch, taking a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the third inning with runners in scoring position, Ohlen Bond hit a grounder to the shortstop which was quickly thrown to first but Trent Brandell was able to make it home from third to tie the game at 2. Then in the top of the 5th inning, Brandell was on second and stole third base, a throwing error gave him plenty of time to make it home from third to take a 3-2 lead.
The rest of the championship game belonged to sophomore starting pitcher Brandon Breckner who struck out seven St. Johns batters and help DeWitt hold on to win 3-2, helping his Panther win DeWitt’s third Diamond Classic in school history. After the trophy celebration, Breckner slid in some mud before being named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, and we asked him about this special night.
“You know it felt great I mean tonight I really played for my seniors I mean great friends of mine really good people and tonight wasn’t about anybody else besides the seniors,” said Breckner.
“It’s the best thing in the world there’s nothing better than high school sports and not many people can say they can end it off in a win,” said DeWitt senior catcher Bryce Debri. “I’ve had amazing experiences at DeWitt whether it was playing football, baseball, and the friendships and relationships that I’ve made here is unbelievable that I’ve had for the rest of my life.”
This win is not only DeWitt Head Coach Alan Shanel’s second Diamond Classic championship but also his 300th career win.