Published June 27, 2012

SOUTHFIELD — The instructions were simple.

Thurman Hall sat at his computer, and if he saw his name pop up, he was to call his dad and let him know, immediately.

Roughly five minutes later, with his father having just left the house, Hall sat in shock as his name appeared.

“So I called my dad, but he didn’t answer,” Hall said. “Then I called my mom, but she didn’t answer, either. I just started yelling. I mean, it’s a thrill, but nobody was home to even tell about it.”

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Published June 21, 2012

For two seasons, it was an unending display of dominance.

More often than not, it looked so easy — a flawless, brilliant effort resulting in countless wins from one game to the next.

In 2011, the Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett baseball team did exactly what so many had predicted: It ended the spring on top of the Division 4 mountaintop.

In 2012, the Knights defied reason, ignored youth, climbed right back to the summit, and in the words of their coach, “overachieved in every way.”

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Published June 13, 2012

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — A win here, against this team, would have been monumental — for a building program and for the entire makeup of the 2012 playoff bracket.

But Cinderella wasn’t in Grosse Pointe Woods June 9, and for the Royal Oak Shrine baseball team, an upset never materialized.

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Published June 8, 2012

‘That was an exciting
moment for Lamphere’
Rams softball and baseball
teams win district titles
By Mark Vest

Published June 7, 2012

It wasn’t easy, but the Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse High School baseball team successfully navigated its way through a three-game gauntlet to win a Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 district title.

In the district final, the Lancers (26-11) knocked off Roseville 4-1 June 4 after inclement weather pushed the games back a couple of days.

On its way to the final, L’Anse Creuse bested St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 11-9 May 29 in a district quarterfinal before downing St. Clair Shores Lakeview 3-1 June 4 in a district semifinal.

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Published June 6, 2012

One more big hit.

One more rally.

Had the Ferndale baseball team gotten another break or two, John Sibula would be talking about a regional semifinal instead of a year-end banquet.

But so it goes come playoff time.

Although, previewing a regional, or even more, just may be in the near future for the Eagles.

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Published May 30, 2012

LAKE ORION — Two full seasons.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that long of a time.

In the eyes of Andy Schramek, it was a drought of epic proportions.

“Way too long for me,” the Lake Orion baseball coach said with a laugh of the time between league titles. Lake Orion claimed this year’s Oakland Activities Association Red Division crown for the first time since 2009. “We were long overdue.”

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Published May 23, 2012

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb L’Anse Creuse North baseball coach Jeff Dropps said one of the goals he and his team set at the outset of the season was to win back-to-back Macomb Area Conference White Division titles.

The Crusaders did just that, going 9-1 in the league and winning the league championship outright after sharing it with Romeo in 2011. LCN needed a win over Warren Mott May 16 to lock up the title and bested Mott 7-1 in the crucial matchup.

At press time, LCN was 23-6 with two regular-season games remaining.

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Published May 18, 2012

ST. CLAIR SHORES — A total team effort has led to the St. Clair Shores South Lake baseball team winning the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division title.

The Cavaliers — 11-5, 8-2 MAC White at press time — won the league outright with a 9-6 win over Warren Fitzgerald May 16. The two squads were tied for first in the bronze before the game.

The league championship is the second in three years for South Lake, which also won the Bronze in 2010.

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Published May 16, 2012

AUBURN HILLS — Playing a stretch of road games — long bus trips, unfamiliar dugouts and late nights — is one thing.

What the 2011 Auburn Hills Avondale baseball team went through, well, that’s in a league all its own.

The Yellow Jackets took to the diamond 27 times last year, and all 27 games were on the road while their outdoor athletic facility was reconstructed.

So when the 2012 season kicked off, it’s safe to say the guys were a anxious to experience some home cooking.

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Published May 11, 2012

MADISON HEIGHTS — A year ago, the Madison Heights Bishop Foley baseball team was considered by many one of the best in the state.

A year later, and despite a drastic roster turnover, not much has changed.

Aside from, of course, the target the Ventures now wear on their backs as defending Division 3 state champs.

So, as the 2012 postseason approaches, Foley skipper Buster Sunde is doing everything in his power to have his current crop of kids as ready as possible for what is sure to be a grueling title defense.

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Published May 9, 2012

As good friends, Jeff Hall and Dan Drapal have made it a habit to try and play each other at least once every spring.

For the Rochester Adams and Birmingham Seaholm skippers, their 2012 date is set for May 11.

“They’re always well coached and always have a team that can hit the ball,” said Hall, the Adams coach. “We expect a good game. It’ll be a good test for us.”

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Published May 2, 2012

LATHRUP VILLAGE — Darren Mosley is used to winning.

The Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup baseball coach has done plenty of it since he took over 12 years ago.

But much of that success has come in the past five years or so, including three division titles since 2008.

Mosley and his Chargers are used to winning later in the spring season, but he’s not complaining about a little change of pace in 2012.

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Published April 27, 2012

ST. CLAIR SHORES — First-year St. Clair Shores Lakeview baseball coach Brett Vaughn came in at a bit of a disadvantage this season.

Vaughn wasn’t hired until two weeks before tryouts, meaning he missed any chance at putting his players through offseason conditioning. Despite the timing of his hire, Vaughn believes things are coming together well for the defending Macomb Area Conference Silver Division champs.

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Published April 27, 2012

Two Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division foes looking to turn their seasons around will hit the diamond when Clinton Township Clintondale plays host to Mount Clemens at 4 p.m. May 2.

Both squads have struggled so far in 2012. The Dragons, at press time, had a record of 2-6, 1-2 in the MAC Bronze, while the Bathers were at 0-6 overall, 0-2 in league play.

“Playing Mount Clemens is a big game in any sport,” first-year Clintondale coach Dave Schindler said. “It’s a huge rivalry, and you never want to lose to your rival.”

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Published April 25, 2012

LATHRUP VILLAGE — Southfield-Lathrup tennis coach Velma Smith lamented not bringing her camcorder when the Chargers welcomed Lake Orion High April 18.

The reason she wanted to bring it was to record her singles players, a squad that she says is the best she’s had in her six years leading the program.

“If I could get the rest of the girls to emulate them, I’d have a smashing team, because they have some real talent,” Smith said.

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Published April 25, 2012

C&G Newspapers

Non-league games in the middle of the season can often offer a chance to step back, analyze progression and perhaps see some other players fill some roles they’re not totally accustomed to in a more relaxed atmosphere.

That won’t be the case in this one.

On April 28, two of the area’s better baseball teams will squad off for what should be an excellent doubleheader of action when Ferndale High welcomes Royal Oak Shrine to town for a noon start.

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Published April 25, 2012

FRASER — His team is averaging about nine runs per game (14.3 in wins), yet Fraser baseball coach Dave Kuppe doesn’t believe the Ramblers’ offense is the key to the season.

Kuppe said making plays on defense and solid pitching would determine how successful Fraser — 7-4, 1-1 in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division at press time — will be this season. Early on, both phases of the game have been a little shaky, with the Ramblers giving up more than six runs per contest, 10 per game in losses.

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Published April 23, 2012

CENTER LINE — An 11-1 start has Center Line High baseball players aspiring to do big things the rest of the season.

“We host a district this year, so we definitely want to win that,” senior first baseman Nathan Mezek. “We want to show people that this is a baseball town.”

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Published April 23, 2012

DEARBORN — With a team this young, playing a schedule this intense, early season results must be taken with a grain of salt.

That’s the message Warren De La Salle baseball coach Matt Cook had last week while speaking of his squad and the road it’s traveled so far.

Though they are the defending Catholic League champs, the Pilots start as many as five sophomores at times.

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