Lakeview baseball in the midst of a strong campaign

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 12, 2017

 St. Clair Shores Lakeview’s James Heck takes a cut during a March 24 win against St. Clair Shores South Lake. The Huskies’ next game is against Marine City High at 4:30 p.m. May 17 at home.

St. Clair Shores Lakeview’s James Heck takes a cut during a March 24 win against St. Clair Shores South Lake. The Huskies’ next game is against Marine City High at 4:30 p.m. May 17 at home.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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.

The 17 wins are two off last year’s total, but the team in 2016 lost 20 contests. McGregor’s teams through his first three years have averaged 14 wins and 18 losses. 

So what’s the reason for the turnaround?

“We had high aspirations coming into the season around expectations of commitment, attitude and desire without really knowing how we would truly perform on the field,” McGregor said. “Because of the hard work that many of the guys put in during the offseason — and how well they have molded together as a team — they have surpassed many people’s expectations.” 

The coach added that it’s also a team that doesn’t settle and won’t quit.

“This is a great quality that every player on the team exhibits, and they will put in the work to make sure they’re as successful as they can be,” he said. “The best part is they truly have fun doing it. I couldn’t ask for more.”

The Huskies have been a balanced team this season, averaging 7 runs per game while allowing 4.2. 

Lakeview has six players hitting better than .300. Of the 15 players on the roster, more than half have an on-base percentage of .450 or higher.

The success, McGregor said, can be attributed to the play of a group of seniors: Evan Fennell, Liam Browning, Zach Allor, Brendan Fick, Darius Mayer, Noah Holloway and Dale Stanley. 

“I think our success at the plate has come from each player picking up on that particular pitcher’s weaknesses and trying to find a way to win each at-bat,” Fennell said. “We work on different drills that have us hit a certain way in different situations — like when we have a runner on second with zero or one out, we try to hit the ball to the right side of the field to get him over so we can capitalize on offense.”

The offense has supported a solid pitching staff, led by Fennell, Ivan Krohta and Stanley. 

Lakeview’s team ERA is less than 2.5. McGregor said his starters have been able to go deep into several games without throwing too many pitches. 

That balance has put the Huskies in position to battle for a division title. Winning the MAC Gold would be a great accomplishment, McGregor said. Fraser is the two-time defending champion.

“We play in a division that is very tough. Fraser and Warren Woods Tower have been solid over the past few years,” McGregor said. “Marine City (High) and (Madison Heights Lamphere) always come out ready to play and win, and (St. Clair Shores) Lake Shore has had our number since before I got here. One of our goals this season was to win the division championship, and we still have our eyes set on it. If we’re in a position to win it at the end of the season, I know it would make all of the hard work well worth it in the eyes of the players.”

Fennell agreed. 

“To us seniors, it’s a goal that we have been chasing every year, and to win the division would allow us to feel amazing, and that all the hard work paid off,” he said.

Lakeview’s next game is against Marine City at 4:30 p.m. May 17 at home.