UPDATE: Flint Powers Catholic head coach Tom Dutkowski has since been named the Division Two Coach of the Year per the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association. 

A win 44 years in the making.

The Flint Powers Catholic Chargers' baseball program had not taken home a state title since 1980. At that time, they were not division 2, but "Class B."

The 2024 season marked Powers head coach Tom Dutkowski's 42nd season at the helm of the team. In that time, he brought the school eight conference championships, 19 district titles, and seven regionals— but never a state championship as head coach.

That was until Saturday on Michigan State's John H. Kobs Field.

The Chargers topped Trenton 4-3 in eight innings to punch their ticket to Saturday's state title game.

Their state win would take no extra innings— it wouldn't even take a full game. They took the win in just five innings, 11-0.

I’m very grateful, it’s gratifying, just an honor to be part of a wonderful team and organization. Just great kids, great, hardworking, diligent kids, and an incredible coaching staff: Dan Garman, John Fitzko, Vinnie Mersino, JD Garman,Bruce Miller, and Jim Cole— the deepest [staff] we’ve ever had here

Dutkowski said.

How it Happened

Powers surged ahead swiftly against Spring Lake, seizing a 2-0 advantage in the top of the first inning with one out. Senior Gavin Darling's decisive blow came in the form of a two-run double into the left-center gap. Following a subsequent ground out, a throwing error by Spring Lake allowed Darling to cross home plate, extending Powers' lead to 3-0.

The momentum continued into the second inning when Powers capitalized on a bases-loaded situation, drawing a walk to push the score to 4-0. In the third inning, Powers exploded with four more runs, bolstering their lead to 8-0. Senior Fischer Hendershot contributed an RBI single, followed by another bases-loaded walk, and a pivotal two-run single from freshman Connor Kelly.

Not content with their commanding lead, Powers added three additional runs in the fourth inning, bolstering their advantage to 11-0.

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Hot bats plus an impressive pitching performance from RHP Hendershot sealed the school's 3rd-ever baseball state championship. Hendershot allowed only two hits and finished with five strikeouts in the shutout win. Come next baseball season, he will be wearing green and white, as an Eastern Michigan University Eagle.

He was in command of himself, he was on his A-game, I was so proud of his demeanor and poise. It certainly helped set the tone for the game. When you get a shutdown inning- it just kept coming because we just kept scoring

the head coach said.

The 2024 team now joins the 1980 and 1974 Flint Powers Catholic baseball teams as state champions. Head coach Dutkowski now has a hand in two of the school's state title wins. In 1980, he served as an assistant coach.

Check out the awesome pictures from the win below.

Flint Powers Catholic 2024 State Championship

The Flint Powers Catholic Chargers won their first state championship since 1980 over the Spring Lake Lakers 11-0.

Gallery Credit: Julie Klein

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