Baseball

Published June 3, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — After finishing second in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division for three straight years, the St. Clair Shores South Lake baseball team went 13-2 to claim the program’s first division title since 2012.

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Published June 3, 2016

C&G Newspapers

ST. CLAIR SHORES — It took a while for the Grosse Pointe North lineup to solve Roseville High pitcher Evan Gates, but it did to the tune of an 8-1 win June 3 in a Division 1 district final at Kyte Monroe Park in St. Clair Shores.

Down 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Norsemen (32-9 overall) plated three runs to take the lead for good. North added one run in the bottom of the fifth inning and four more in the bottom of the sixth to seal the win.

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Published June 3, 2016

WARREN — In 15 Macomb Area Conference Gold Division games, the Warren Woods Tower baseball team outscored opponents 62-56.

Being able to pull out the majority of its close games enabled Tower to finish 10-5 in MAC Gold play and win its first division title since 2002. Tower shares the division title with Fraser High.

The league championship comes in the program’s first year under coach Tom Miller, who credits his players’ work ethic in ending the division title drought.

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Published June 1, 2016

ROYAL OAK/CLAWSON — Last week marked the beginning of the postseason for baseball, softball and girls soccer. Here’s a look at the district draws for Royal Oak High, Clawson High and Royal Oak Shrine.

Baseball
Royal Oak (15-7 overall at press time) plays Troy High at 10 a.m. June 4 at Troy in a Division 1 district semifinal.  The Ravens faced Troy once this season, falling 11-1 in an Oakland Activities Association crossover game on May 23.

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Published May 30, 2016

C&G Newspapers

UTICA — After an extended pregame celebration to kick off the inaugural game of the United Shore Professional Baseball League and the opening of Jimmy John’s Field in downtown Utica, a baseball game broke out between the Utica Unicorns and Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers.

With the teams just more than one week removed from tryouts, pitchers predictably controlled the game, as Utica took the opener 5-1.

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Published May 27, 2016

FRASER — Fraser High baseball coach Dave Kuppe is not afraid to admit that he thought “it would be very difficult to get even a piece of the league championship this year.”

Due to Fraser’s inexperience and the players other teams in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division were bringing back, Kuppe said he was hoping his team would finish second or third in the division.

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Published May 27, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clinton Township Clintondale baseball coach Rob Townsend said he’s seen continuous improvement from his team over the course of the season, and he hopes that continues into the playoffs.

The Dragons (11-11 overall, 7-8 Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division, at press time) play in a Division 3 district hosted by Madison Heights Bishop Foley. Clintondale received a bye through the quarterfinals and plays either Madison Heights Madison or Harper Woods High in a semifinal at a time and date still to be determined.

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Published May 26, 2016

C&G Newspapers

DETROIT — Very few high school baseball players can say they’ve pitched on the same mound as Justin Verlander.

Even fewer can say they’ve pitched on that mound three times.

And even fewer can say they’ve won a game in a professional stadium — twice.

Brother Rice pitcher Karl Kauffmann is one of the few.

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Published May 26, 2016

C&G Newspapers

DETROIT — Notre Dame Prep baseball’s run as the underdog in the Catholic League playoffs came to an end May 26 with a 5-1 loss to Riverview Gabriel Richard at Comerica Park in the league’s C-D final.

Notre Dame Prep coach Darren Audia said his young team performed well in high-stakes situations during the playoffs — defeating eight-loss Royal Oak Shrine and winning against Madison Heights Bishop Foley ace Justin Campbell — but the higher stakes at Comerica may have affected their play.

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Published May 25, 2016

LATHRUP VILLAGE — One final season, one final championship.

The goal was to do exactly this: find a way to put the finishing touches on a revamped baseball program with an exclamation point in the Oakland Activities Association.

Mission accomplished.

After dropping the first of a three-game series against Royal Oak High on May 16, Darren Mosley’s Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup baseball squad bounced back with a pair of wins over the Ravens, culminating with a 7-2 victory May 19 to clinch the Gold Division.

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Published May 23, 2016

ROSEVILLE — The Roseville High baseball team clinched its third straight Macomb Area Conference Silver Division title with a 4-0 win over Clawson High May 16.

That’s all well and good for the program, Panthers coach Keith Marzec said, but the team is chasing something it hasn’t yet been able to grasp.

“We want to win a district title,” said Marzec, who is in his 15th year leading the program. “We’ve been really close but we just haven’t been able to get it.”

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Published May 20, 2016

C&G Newspapers

LAKE ORION — For more than 70 baseball players from across the country, Lake Orion High School’s baseball complex was their own “Field of Dreams” May 18 and 19.

The United Shore Professional Baseball League held an open tryout for anyone who wanted a shot at playing for the new independent league, which is based in downtown Utica.

More than 150 players began tryouts on May 16, but by May 18, that number was already cut in half by league personnel, who then began identifying top prospects for the league’s three teams this summer.

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Published May 20, 2016

FERNDALE — Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera was the guest of honor May 19 at Second Story Interiors where he unveiled his new hat design.

“The Miggy Hat” features several color combinations and Cabrera’s logo — a crown resting above his first name initial 'M.' The crown represents the triple crown he achieved during the 2012 season, as Cabrera led the American League in home runs, RBIs and batting average.

Cabrera signed autographs for about 200 attendees, who also received one of the hats.

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Published May 18, 2016

atekip@candgnews.com
ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak Shrine baseball coach Dan Noble said the Knights don’t have a superstar player this season.

It doesn’t phase him.

Noble is proud to say Shrine’s success this season is a true team effort: reliable pitching and defense, and a offense that, although inconsistent at times, finds a way to win.

“Part of the reason we’ve been able to have success is because everybody’s on board, everybody’s getting their job done,” said Noble.

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Published May 17, 2016

AUBURN HILLS — He came into the season with high expectations.

With much of this roster in place for the past three to four years, Auburn Hills Avondale baseball coach Tom Kurczewski knew his 2016 team could be a special one.

But this successful?

“I don’t know,” he said late last week. “I always have high expectations, and I knew we’d be deep, but I don’t know if I saw us being this good.”

It was an honest and welcome miscalculation for the veteran skipper.

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Published May 16, 2016

BEVERLY HILLS — Exciting and intimidating.

That’s the emotional mixture Shawn Morrison found himself juggling when the 2016 baseball season began — and both were understandable.

About to start his first season as head coach with the Birmingham Groves baseball team, who wouldn’t be thrilled with the opportunity?

Then again, Morrison was taking over for a coaching legend.

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Published May 16, 2016

MADISON HEIGTHS — He started turning heads as a freshman, pitching in some big innings and big games.

Last year, Justin Campbell officially left his mark on the high school baseball scene with Madison Heights Bishop Foley, earning the right to start in the Catholic League championship game at Comerica Park and the Division 3 playoff opener en route to earning second-team All-State honors.

Not bad for a sophomore.

Now a junior, Campbell’s only adding to his dominance while helping guide Foley as one of the top teams in Division 3 again.

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Published May 13, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Reps are very important in any sport, and baseball is no different.

The players on the St. Clair Shores Lakeview baseball team will have no shortage of reps by the time the postseason starts May 29. By then, the Huskies will have played 36 games.

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Published May 11, 2016

WALLED LAKE — A lofty goal, but Luis Vasquez was deliberate in stating it.

Asked more about his thought that his Walled Lake Central baseball team is one that can win it all in Division 1 this spring, he refused to backpedal or soften his stance.

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Published May 10, 2016

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The United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL) is searching for singers to perform the national anthem before each of its 75 games this season.

Live auditions will be held from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. May 11-12 at Partridge Creek Mall, which is located at 17420 Hall Road in Clinton Township.

The USPBL will play its inaugural season at Jimmy John's Field on Auburn Road just west of downtown Utica, north of Hall Road. The league will feature three teams in 2016.

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