Photos: StudentandAthlete

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett's Jarren Purify (6) races to third base in the first inning against Buchanan on Thursday. He would later score.


Posted Thursday, June 17, 2021

   No. 2-ranked Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett advanced to the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 baseball championship game for the second-straight season, beating No. 1-ranked Buchanan 2-0 on Thursday, June 17, at Michigan State University.

    Liggett (30-5) advances to face Traverse City St. Francis (28-9) in the title game on Saturday, June 19, at 11:30 a.m. at MSU. St. Francis beat No. 5-ranked Richmond 5-4 in its semifinal on Thursday.

   Against Buchanan, Kurt Barr was dominate on the mound, getting the complete-game victory. Barr allowed only two hits and struck out nine, including the side in the final inning.

   Liggett scored its only two runs in the top of the first inning. Jarren Purify walked, stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Matthew Greene’s RBI single.

   Greene later stole second and scored on an opposite field RBI double to right by Ryan Jones.

  “The game played out exactly how we like it,” said University Liggett head coach Dan Cimini told reporters. “We used excellent pitching and strong defense to carry us in a close battle. We faced a really good pitcher from Buchanan, so we knew we had to play fundamentally sound on defense if we were going to have a chance and we had to find a way to

score a couple of runs. We scraped a few runs across early and then rode our pitcher to the finish line.”

   Liggett beat Riverview Gabriel Richard 6-1 in the quarterfinals on Saturday, June 12, and won a regional championship over No. 6-ranked Blissfield 2-0, earlier in the day.

   Liggett downed Detroit Cristo Rey 18-0 in three innings in the regional semifinal on June 9 and beat No. 3-ranked Detroit Edison Public School Academy Early College of Excellence 11-1 in five innings in the district final. The Knights have outscored playoff opponents 37-2.

   Liggett was the Division 3 runner-up in 2019, falling to Homer 4-0. The 2020 season was cancelled due to the pandemic. Liggett won the Division 3 championship in 2016 and 2014 and the Division 4 title in 2013 and 2011, all under long-time head coach Dan Cimini. Liggett also won the Class D championship in 1979 under head coach Joe Haklin.



> Barr, Purify help Liggett defeat top-ranked Buchanan in D3

> Two-hit shutout lifts University Liggett past Buchanan in D3 state semifinal showdown

> Big-game experience buoys young Liggett baseball team in return to familiar territory

> From Little League World Series to state title chase, young Liggett baseball is made for the big stage


Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett's Matthew Greene (5) gets a RBI single in the first inning against Buchanan on Thursday.


Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett's Ryan Jones (24) slides into second base after hitting a RBI double in the first inning against Buchanan on Thursday.


Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett's Kurt Barr (16) pitches in the seventh inning against Buchanan on Thursday.