Fraser High’s Nick Vodak delivers a pitch June 1 during a Division 1 district semifinal game against Roseville High. After beating Roseville, Fraser went on to win the program’s first district championship in more than a decade with a 2-1 victory against St. Clair Shores Lakeview.

Fraser High’s Nick Vodak delivers a pitch June 1 during a Division 1 district semifinal game against Roseville High. After beating Roseville, Fraser went on to win the program’s first district championship in more than a decade with a 2-1 victory against St. Clair Shores Lakeview.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


Fraser High baseball wins district title

By: Mark Vest | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published June 5, 2018

 Fraser High’s Hunter Lubanski is in motion during a district playoff game June 1. The Ramblers have won both a Macomb Area Conference Gold Division championship and a district title this year.

Fraser High’s Hunter Lubanski is in motion during a district playoff game June 1. The Ramblers have won both a Macomb Area Conference Gold Division championship and a district title this year.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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FRASER — Fraser High baseball coach Dave Kuppe described it as “the thing that was missing.”

Although Kuppe has been pleased with the program’s four consecutive Macomb Area Conference Gold Division championships, what has eluded Fraser in recent years is a district title.

Kuppe and the Ramblers can now rest a lot easier, as the program secured its first district championship since 2006 with a 2-1 win against St. Clair Shores Lakeview June 1 in a Division 1 district final at Kyte Monroe Park in St. Clair Shores.

Although Kuppe is pleased to be a champion, the victory was not exactly an unexpected one.

“When you’re the team that should win, it doesn’t have quite the same impact,” Kuppe said. “But it still feels good, especially for these guys. That was our goal beginning of the year, is to not just win our league, but get a district this year. … It’s nice to have the monkey off your back.”

Fraser’s victory didn’t come without some tense moments.

With the Ramblers up 2-1 in the last half of the seventh inning, Lakeview had runners on first and third with two outs before senior Vinnie Konvinski delivered a strikeout pitch and the district championship.

Konvinski is now assured of ending his senior season with at least two championships.

“It’s really special,” he said. “I couldn’t be any happier with this team.”

After Fraser scored its first run of the game on a throwing error in the top of the second, Matt Nahtygal drove in the Ramblers’ only other run of the afternoon in the fourth.

Lakeview’s only run of the game came via an RBI from Brendan Guciardo in the last half of the fourth.

Given that Fraser had already won three prior MAC Gold meetings between the teams this year, Lakeview coach Scott McGregor understood the challenge facing his team.

“We expected a battle today,” McGregor said. “We knew what they had. … Proud of my guys.”

Brendan Gordley was Fraser’s starting pitcher, with Ivan Krohta getting the start for Lakeview.

Fraser plays at 10 a.m. June 9 at Macomb Dakota in a regional semifinal against the winning team from the Utica High district.

The Ramblers advanced to the final with a 9-1 victory in a semifinal against Roseville High, after beating St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 6-0 in the first round.

Lakeview beat Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse 16-6 in its semifinal.

With the win, Fraser improved to 22-12 on the season.

Lakeview ended its season at 13-21.

 

In other local district playoff news:
Fraser’s girls soccer team also won a D-1 district championship, as the Ramblers beat tournament host Utica Ford II 2-0 June 2. Earlier in the tournament, Fraser beat Warren Mott 9-1 and Sterling Heights Stevenson 3-1.

It was the program’s first district title since 2011.

In baseball, Dakota beat Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 5-0 in a district final June 2.

Fraser’s softball team lost to tournament host Lake Shore 9-2 in a D-1 semifinal June 1.

Tournament host Macomb L’Anse Creuse North’s girls soccer team beat Chippewa 2-1 in a first-round game May 30.

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