Baseball: Brighton captures last Eastern Metro Athletic Conference crown

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Brighton High School's baseball team is in a position to host a regional tournament for the first time since 2001.

Pairings are due out Monday, May 16, and the tournament is set for Saturday, May 21. BHS took the first step toward that goal by winning the last Eastern Metro Athletic Conference baseball league title May 11, its first since 2017.

None of the success this year surprises junior Brendan Strait. His two-run double in the fourth inning proved to be the game-winner. BHS beat Vista Peak 3-2.

"It surprised me that it's been a while since we won it," he said. "We're the best team in the conference. We have some good seniors, mostly juniors and seniors. We play well together. We have some good chemistry."

Through May 11, the Bulldogs sported a 16-4 record and occupied the 12th spot in CHSAA's Ratings Performance Index.

"We don't have any negative drags on this team. We're all pretty positive," Strait said. "We help pick each other up, which is good."

BHS spotted the Bison a 2-1 lead before Strait's base hit.

"It was a 3-2 count. He threw me a few off-speed pitches, just missed with a changeup," Strait said. "I knew he was going to come back with a fastball. He did – a fastball right down the center of the plate. I got thrown out at third, but the two RBIs won the game. It was a big hit."

Yancy Morales had a base hit and an RBI for the Bison. Conner Angelini had Vista Peak's other RBI. Cannon Headley had two hits for Brighton. Garrett Chadwick had BHS' other RBI. Starting pitcher Anthony Treto, who picked up the win, struck out four. Isaac Rodriguez struck out two en route to the save,

"The pitcher did a great job," BHS coach Justin Stringer said. "We didn't barrel up too many baseballs. Our pitchers did a good job of controlling the game. Treto didn't have the best stuff I've ever seen, but he battled. Rodriguez came in and shut the door."

Strait and the rest of the squad don't think they are finished with just a league title. The top eight host the regional tournaments.

"It was a baby step for sure," Strait said. "We're trying to win out this week and get a chance to host the regionals and play here. If we play our cards right, we have a good shot of going somewhat deep in the playoffs. The bats have been slow, but we've got some good hitters. If we stay healthy, we're going to be good."

"It (hosting a regional tournament) would be a nice feather in the cap for the team," Stringer said.

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