Perfect title game

Grosse Pointe pitcher twirls gem, tops Dexter for state championship

Mike Mattson | Daily Press Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores pitcher Joe Randazzo threw a perfect game against Dexter Wednesday in the Little League Boys Major state title game at Howes Field.

GLADSTONE — It was a dominating performance by Joey Randazzo Wednesday to say the least.

Randazzo fired a perfect game while helping the Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores Major Boys’ Little League All-Stars (age 11-12) capture the state title in a 10-0 conquest of Dexter in five innings at Don Howes Family Field.

He retired all 15 hitters he faced, including 12 by strikeout on this rainy morning.

“It’s exciting and at the same time it’s terrifying,” he said. “One pitch and it could be gone. I had so much stress on my body. It was a relief to get it over with. My fastball and hitting the spots were definitely the keys. The same umpires were here all week and I knew how they were calling the game. That helped a lot.”

The victory sends Grosse Pointe to the Central Regional tournament at Indianapolis, where they begin play Aug. 5.

Mike Mattson | Daily Press Dexter catcher Joey Tessmer gets ready to apply the tag at home plate on Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores Drew Hill Wednesday in the Little League Major Boys state title game at Howes Field. Hill was out on the first-inning play.

“We worked so hard for this,” Randazzo added. “We’re going to try to do the same thing we did here. We’re just going to try to have fun.”

Grosse Pointe head coach Jason Hill was impressed by the performance of Randazzo and the team.

“Joey is a darn good player,” he said. “Most of our kids are very knowledgeable.

“They understand the game well for their age and they’re pretty talented.”

The champs clubbed two home runs, running their state-record total for 49 during the entire tournament run.

Mike Mattson | Daily Press Grosse Pointe Woods pitcher Joe Randazzo gets a hug from teammate Chase Reinhard after he threw a perfect game against Dexter Wednesday in the Little League Boys Major state title game at Howes Field.

Randazzo opened the scoring on a wild pitch and Jack Jones rapped a two-run homer ro right-centerfield for a 3-0 lead in the opening frame.

Grosse Pointe, taking advantage of several wild pitches, added three runs in the third. Randazzo made it 4-0 on a wild pitch. A double to center by Jones gave Grosse Pointe its fifth run and Jordan Arseneau’s ground out to the pitcher raised the count to 6-0.

Joseph Wisniewski’s two-run shot to right put Grosse Pointe up by eight in the fifth. Ryan Jones scored the ninth run on a wild pitch and Drew Hill’s infield single ended the scoring.

They finished with 10 hits, including two each by Randazzo, Wisniewski and Jack Jones.

“Dexter was impressive the whole week,” said coach Hill. “Their pitcher (Brennan Parachek) was very, very good, but we were able to we put some lengthy innings against him. Our kids did a nice job getting the timely hits throughout the tournament. The two-out home run in the first inning was huge.”

Parachek suffered a knee injury in a collision with Randazzle at the plate in the first inning, but he was able to continue after Randazzo scored the first run. He worked four innings, striking out eight, hitting a batter and allowing seven runs on six hits.

“It was rough,” said Dexter head coach George Mihos. “The toughest thing is when our pitcher got hurt, our catcher started to have breathing issues (due to asthma) and had to come out. It’s tough to come back from that. Their pitcher was good, one of the best we’ve seen. Although, I think both pitchers are very comparable. We’re proud of the way our guys played. We had a lot of fun this week. It was great to see the great land up here.”

Both teams had plenty of fan support during the tourney.

“We stayed at the Quality Inn (in Escanaba) and two of the housekeepers came here on their day off, sat in the rain and cheered us on,” said one of the Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores parents. “We appreciate them taking the time to come here.”