St. Clair ShoresMay 23, 2007
A 'Shore' thing
By Alan Bojakowski
C & G Staff Writer
Shorians ace looks forward to state tourney
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Spend a few minutes behind the backstop when St. Clair Shores Lake Shore junior Kevin Vangheluwe is pitching, and you can see right away that this guy is something special.
“I think he takes the team to another level,” Lake Shore coach Chris Kuppe said. “They (teammates) know he’s going to keep them in the ball game; he’s going to throw strikes, and he can throw it by anybody if he has to.”
Vangheluwe has been dominant on the mound this season, posting a 6-1 record with 55 strikeouts in 40 innings. Even more startling than his strikeout total is the fact that his ERA was .21 prior to tossing a shutout at Port Huron May 16.
Add it all up and you see why scouts from University of Michigan and Michigan State University have stopped by to watch him pitch lately.
Better yet, Kuppe still has one more season with his ace.
“He’s still growing,” Kuppe said of the three-year starter. “I think what’s most impressive is that he’s gotten better all three years, and he’s going to keep getting better.”
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound ace has four pitches in his arsenal, including a fastball that he can dial up to 89 mph and a curveball that hits 79 mph.
Even with all Vangheluwe’s talent, there will likely still be a little nervous energy when he takes the hill during the district round of the state baseball tournament — the Shorians are hosting a Division 2 district this year — but his bulldog-like attitude should be more than enough to compensate.
“There is a little bit of nerves, but it really doesn’t bother me,” Vangheluwe said. “Once we get the first out, I’m good to go.”
Behind every great pitcher, there is usually a solid defense — and that’s definitely the case with the No. 2-ranked Shorians.
“Strikeouts are nice to get,” he said, “but I know I have a good team, a good defense, behind me.”
In other baseball and softball playoff news:
The Shorians hosts the D-2 district, which includes St. Clair Shores South Lake and St. Clair Shores Lakeview.
Fans of Warren De La Salle can find the Pilots in the D-1 district hosted by Warren Mott.
The three local softball teams will also play in the same district, hosted by Lake Shore at Kyte Monroe Field.
Harper Woods Regina opens play in the D-1 district hosted by Grosse Pointe South.
Pre-district games begin May 29. For exact times, dates and opponents, please visit the Michigan High School Athletic Association Web site at www.mhsaa.com.