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Walled Lake

June 3, 2014

Record-breaking regular season for WLC baseball includes KLAA title

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Walled Lake Central’s Kyle Wilkie (22) pitches during the district opener May 27 before rain postponed the game. Central went 30-5 during the regular season.

WALLED LAKE — The sprint to the finish is officially on — a playoff tournament where one pitch, one play or one hit can serve as the difference between the offseason and the next round.

But it’s the marathon of the 2014 regular season that Mike Roffi and everyone associated with the Walled Lake Central baseball team will likely remember forever.

At least, the record book will.

“These kids bought into everything when this season began,” Roffi said last week. “They came together right away. We approached every game as if it were our last, and that says a lot about the maturity level of our group.”

The postseason opened May 27 for Walled Lake Central in a predistrict contest against Walled Lake Northern.

The game was eventually delayed until May 28, but Mother Nature intervened again and caused another postponement. At press time, the time and date of the game was not available.

But Roffi entered the tourney knowing however longer the run was, his guys had permanently left their mark at Central.

No team before this year’s group had won an Association title in the KLAA.

No team, before this had won 30 games in a season.

“Pitching and defense,” Roffi offered as the reason this year’s group was able to accomplish both feats. “I have five guys that can throw, and the defense behind them has been great.”

The Vikings finished the regular season with a 30-5 record, the most wins the program has recorded in a single season.

After winning the Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division title with a 14-2 mark, Central beat West Division champ Brighton High 9-5 to claim the Lakes Conference title.

That win spring boarded them to the KLAA championship against Kensington Conference champ Northville High.

Again, pitching — specifically a one-hit shutout tossed by Mike Morilli in the May 22 game — helped earn the Vikings their first-ever KLAA title with a 4-0 victory.

“I felt we’d be athletic when the season started. In fact, it’s my most athletic team ever,” Roffi said. “So I had a feeling we’d be good.”

He paused and laughed before continuing

“Maybe not this good.”

Central hadn’t been in the final game since 2010, a 9-8 loss to Canton High.

“For us, it’s one of the main goals when the season gets going,” Roffi said. “You talk about the city title, then the division, then the conference. And then you aim for the association title before focusing on districts. I think of those five, the association is the hardest to obtain because of what it requires all year long. … No matter what happens from here on out, we will always have this to hang our hats on.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.