Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

OC Green Monsters

Oakland County has had quite the influence on the 2012 Michigan State baseball team this spring, supplying the Spartans eight local diamond studs, a number of whom have chipped in mightily for a squad that just qualified for the College World Series for the first time in 33 years.
On Sunday, the 37-21 Spartans garnered an at-large bid to the Big Dance and will face-off with Pepperdine in a first-round throwdown on June 1st out in California on the campus of Stanford University.
Position Players
Jimmy Pickens (Birmingham Brother Rice), Blaise Salter (OL St. Mary's), Joel Fisher (Farmington), Chase Toth (Clarkston), Mike Mestdagh (Birmingham Groves)
Andrew Waszak (RH Adams), Chase Rhitarchik (Birmingham Brother Rice), Mike Theodore (Birmingham DCD)
Fisher has the best batting average of all the OC studs this season, hitting .288, with 18 RBI. Salter isn't far behind, hitting .281. Pickens is hitting .255, but has been his usual clutch self, driving in 35 runs, third best on the entire team.
Waszak is the OC's top hurler for MSU this year, with the junior righty posting a 2.81 ERA and a 4-3 overall record on the mound. Theodore, who transferred into Spartyland this year from the SEC via the Tennessee Volunteers, has a 3-1 record and a 3.51 ERA for the Green and White.
In high school, Waszak and Pickens were also football stars. Both could have played on the gridiron in college if they had wanted to, as Waszak played a mean quarterback for the Highlanders high-scoring squads of the late 2000s and Pickens was recruited at the Division I level as a heady and hard-hitting safety (he took captained the Warriors into the final four as a junior and then to a Catholic League crown as a senior).
During their prep careers, Fisher, Pickens, Rhitarchik and Salter all played on squads that made a run into the final four in CEREAL CITY aka Battle Creek, however, Pickens and Rhitarchik are the only players to have a state title ring. Rhitarchik was a rock solid spinner and Pickens started behind the plate at catcher for the 2008 D1 state champion Brother Rice Warriors.
This is only the fourth time in MSU school history that the Spartans diamond brigade has earned a bid to the College World Series, an outstanding accomplishment and one that definitely resonates in Oakland County with EXTREME PRIDE!!


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