Baseball

Published June 6, 2017

ROYAL OAK — There’s dominance and then there’s what the Royal Oak Shrine baseball team did last weekend at the Allen Park Inter-City Baptist Division 4 district.

Eleven innings.

That’s all the Knights needed to roll to the regional round.

“Can’t complain about that too much,” coach Dan Noble said. “I thought we played very well. We hit well and pitched well, which you want to do. I think we took advantage of some matchups.”

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Published June 6, 2017

ROCHESTER HILLS — While his high school career may officially be over in the classroom, Albert Nagy is not ready to end his prep sports tenure.

Clad in a shirt that stated “Falcon Alumni” in bold letters after a recent practice, Rochester High’s ace pitcher proudly reflected on what he accomplished in his last outing as a student.

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Published June 6, 2017

FARMINGTON HILLS — District time can be one of elation if a regional-round ticket awaits.

But for local baseball, softball and soccer teams, district time proved to be the end of the 2017 athletic calendar.

Except for the Farmington Hills Mercy softball squad.

“For us to get through was great,” Marlins coach Alec Lesko said. “We’re young in the circle and in other spots, and anything can happen when you have that youth. For us, we’re so happy to get through here.”

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Published June 1, 2017

WEST BLOOMFIELD — While most teams in the baseball and softball state playoffs had to wait for the weekend to get the postseason rolling, the West Bloomfield High baseball squad officially got going May 30 in pre-district action.

And for Eric Pierce and his Lakers, the beginning of the tourney also signaled the end.

“This was one of those games where we liked our chances,” Pierce said. “We came out and hit the ball hard, but we had too many opportunities go by, and we made a few too many mistakes.”

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Published May 30, 2017

FRASER — Fraser High’s baseball program has once again proven to be the best team in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division, as the Ramblers have won their third consecutive division championship.

At press time, Fraser was 13-2 in the MAC Gold and 19-5 overall.

“It’s pretty nice,” said Fraser coach Dave Kuppe. “This year, we ran away with it a little bit. It was one of our goals, and we’re very happy to get it.”

With a division title out of the way, Fraser can focus its attention on postseason success.

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Published May 30, 2017

Grosse Pointe North’s baseball program won its second consecutive Macomb Area Conference White Division championship.

The Norsemen finished 12-3 in the division, four games better than their closest competitor, Romeo High.

At press time, North’s overall record was 27-9.

“Kids have been playing well all year,” said North coach Frank Sumbera. “We validated last year’s championship. It was nice to win two in a row.”

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Published May 30, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — It’s a big week for the baseball teams in the C & G coverage area.

St. Clair Shores Lake Shore and St. Clair Shores Lakeview play in a Division 1 district hosted by Roseville High. 

The Huskies get Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse in a semifinal at 1:30 p.m. June 2. 

The Shorians took on Roseville High in a quarterfinal May 30, after press time. The winner of that matchup gets Eastpointe East Detroit at 11 a.m. June 2. 

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Published May 26, 2017

ORCHARD LAKE — It can be a cliché of sorts, whereby players and coaches alike look at the start of the postseason as a sort of restart to the entire year itself.

For Matt Petry and his Orchard Lake St. Mary’s baseball team, well, they’re embracing the cliché.

“Once we missed out on the (Catholic League) playoffs, we talked about a fresh start,” Petry said. “We talked about starting the season over and moving forward.”

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Published May 26, 2017

BIRMINGHAM — In a move that is hardly unique, the Birmingham Groves baseball team gathered before the start of the season to establish a set of goals.

While contending for a state title was of the loftiest matter, winning an Oakland Activities Association White Division crown was at the forefront.

The Falcons saw that goal come to fruition in 2017.

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Published May 24, 2017

STERLING HEIGHTS — The Utica Ford II softball team is in the midst of another strong campaign, and coach Matt Joseph says a group of experienced players is leading the charge.

The Falcons — who were 21-4 overall and 5-3 in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division at press time — have six seniors on the roster who are four-year varsity players, including captains Nikki Sorgi, Maddy Goss and Meagan Vervaecke.

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Published May 23, 2017

ROCHESTER HILLS — After a season full of strikes, swings and slides, local baseball squads have their sights set on the playoffs.

In Division 1 action, Rochester High drew the pre-district affair, heading to Romeo High at 4:30 p.m. May 30. The two sides have not met this season, and the winner advances to face Utica Eisenhower.

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Published May 23, 2017

CLAWSON — When the spring season started, Clawson High baseball coach Ralph Haney boasted about his team and its chances to compete for a Macomb Area Conference Silver Division title.

Then, the Trojans went out and won 12 of their first 13 games, fueling confidence and expectations.

Since then, however, Clawson has a 2-8 record and a shifted focus toward the postseason.

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Published May 18, 2017

C&G Newspapers

The state baseball playoffs are less than a week away, and two Macomb County teams in the C & G coverage area enter the 2017 postseason with a target on their backs.

The Warren De La Salle and Sterling Heights Parkway Christian baseball teams will enter the playoffs as defending champions in Division 1 and Division 4, respectively. The 2016 title was the fourth for the Pilots and the first for the Eagles.

The teams are entering the postseason with drastically different looks.

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Published May 16, 2017

TROY — Following a 5-3 victory against rival Troy High May 10, Troy Athens baseball coach Mike Morris chuckled, applauding not only the contest’s final margin, but how many runs his squad managed to put up.

“This is obviously a great win, means a lot to our team to take the series over Troy,” Morris said. “But in the dugout we’re just glad to see that scoreboard light up a few times. We went four or five games where we either won 1-0 or lost 2-1. I’m happy to see us able to finally start pushing some more runs across.”

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Published May 15, 2017

C&G Newspapers

For years, Comerica Park and the Detroit skyline served as the home for the Catholic High School League baseball finals.

On May 11, Comerica was once again rocking with high school baseball, only this time around it was the Catholic League’s semifinal action.

And now the finals are set for May 24 at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica.

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Published May 12, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — It looks like everything’s coming together for St. Clair Shores Lakeview baseball in its fourth year under coach Scott McGregor.

At press time, the Huskies were 17-6 overall and 7-4 in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division — three games behind Fraser High in the race for the title, with four games left. 

A division title would be the first since 2012 for Lakeview.

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Published May 12, 2017

In front of a sold-out Jimmy John's Field, the United Shore Professional Baseball League kicked off its sophomore season May 11. The opener featured a rematch of last season's title match, as the reigning champs, the Utica Unicorns topped the Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers 4-0.

Utica pitcher Donny Murray earned the win, pitching five scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out seven.

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Published May 10, 2017

SOUTHFIELD — The ride has been bumpy to this point, but with a little luck — and improved weather — Darren Mosley sees his Southfield A&T baseball team turning things around.

And fast.

“Oh yeah, these guys will figure it out,” Mosley said of his squad. “There’s lots of baseball left in this season, and we’re headed in the right direction.”

The Warriors were 5-10 overall at press time.

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Published May 1, 2017

BEVERLY HILLS — The season ended in high drama and extra innings.

And when that 2016 quarterfinal loss was complete, Steve Lepkowski and his Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day baseball team were left wondering about what could have been.

Just one win from a trip to East Lansing for the semifinals, and just three wins from a state title, the Yellowjackets were headed home.

So when camp broke this spring and many of those same players returned with a group of varsity rookies, Lepkowski said he was confident the makings of a strong season were taking shape.

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Published May 1, 2017

BIRMINGHAM — In comparison to others, the spring season is the quickest in terms of start to finish.

Still, as any athlete or coach on any team will tell you, days, practices, games — it all can bleed together at times.

If John Toth has anything to say about that, his Birmingham Seaholm baseball team certainly won’t get caught up in any mundane scheduling practices.

“This is going to be a fun couple of weekends,” the Maples’ skipper said with a laugh.

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