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Contributions from every player lead to South Lake baseball team winning MAC Bronze title

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 18, 2012

 St. Clair Shores South Lake coach Jose Jimenez and Jasper Girven talk during a recent practice. In his second year as coach, Jimenez led the Cavaliers to the MAC Bronze title.

St. Clair Shores South Lake coach Jose Jimenez and Jasper Girven talk during a recent practice. In his second year as coach, Jimenez led the Cavaliers to the MAC Bronze title.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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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.

“It’s a great accomplishment for the kids,” second-year coach Jose Jimenez said. “They put in a lot of work during the offseason and have fought hard all year long. They deserve it.”

Junior left fielder/catcher Adam Weiske said he believes the league title could propel South Lake to long-term success.

“It feels pretty good,” Weiske said. “Doing it this year gives us something to shoot for next season to do it again.”

Jimenez said every player on the roster has played and contributed this season.

“Whether it’s a bunt, a big steal or a hit, every guy on this team has done something to help us win this season,” said Jimenez, who has coached baseball for 25 years. “You need those things if you’re going to win baseball games.”

The South Lake coach said his team could be having an even better season if it weren’t for some late-game lapses. He noted a number of one-run losses the team suffered when it held a lead going into the seventh inning. One thing the team must work on going into the postseason, Jimenez said, is closing out games.

“We’ve got to be solid defensively and limit mistakes if we want to stay alive in the playoffs,” Jimenez said.

Weiske said he likes the makeup of this group because no one feels like they’re bigger than the team. He said that cohesive and camaraderie are sometimes more vital than talent in winning games.

Jimenez said every player on the South Lake team does their best to keep the focus on the team and not on individual accolades. To ensure that focus remains the same, the coach takes an interesting approach.

“I never tell them what their (statistics) are,” he said. “When you do that, they can start to press and try too hard to improve on numbers instead of doing what’s best for the team.

“I have them. I know what they are, but the kids don’t.”

Jimenez did recognize Weiske and sophomore first/third baseman Tyler Baatz as his top hitters. Leading the South Lake pitching rotation are seniors Nick Kenny and Colin Gornick.

“And we have a couple pitchers who can come in to throw two or three innings to pick up the slack,” Jimenez said.

The Cavaliers end the regular season with a doubleheader against East Detroit, with games slated for 11 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. May 26 at the South Lake athletic complex.

In districts, which run May 29-June 2, the Cavs will play at Center Line High and are grouped with the host Panthers, Detroit Denby, Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy and Warren Lincoln.

Check www.mhsaa.com for more details, including game times and dates.

 

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