Lamphere baseball takes aim at MAC Gold title

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published April 12, 2019

 Madison Heights Lamphere sophomore Brad Oltersdorf prepares to pitch during a game against Troy Athens April 8. Last season, Lamphere finished just one game back of first place in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division.

Madison Heights Lamphere sophomore Brad Oltersdorf prepares to pitch during a game against Troy Athens April 8. Last season, Lamphere finished just one game back of first place in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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MADISON HEIGHTS — With the arrival of a new season, Madison Heights Lamphere baseball has a chance to accomplish a first for the program in nearly eight years: winning a Macomb Area Conference Gold Division championship.

Last season, the Rams narrowly missed out on a title, finishing one game back of Fraser High for the top spot in the MAC Gold.

After winning back-to-back MAC Gold championships in 2010 and 2011, Lamphere has gone through a title drought, and coach Adam Wooley wants this to be the year it ends.

“We’ve kind of been at a standstill with that,” Wooley said. “With some of these kids here, they haven’t had a chance to taste that yet. So for this group, especially with the work that they put in, the commitment to their school and to themselves, and their team, it would mean the world to (them), and it would mean the world to me to see them have that opportunity.”

Given how close Lamphere was to winning a title last year, getting over the hump this season could make the accomplishment all the more special.

“It would make it a lot more special, (especially) for the young kids to win a championship, get that mentality in the program,” said senior Ryan Barrett.

Although the Rams lost a key player from last year’s squad in Noah Fisher, who is now part of an NCAA Division I roster with Northern Kentucky University, they have returned with some strengths.

“We do field the ball real well,” Wooley said. “We’re balanced out a lot more. … They’re still young, but it’s a more balanced lineup from one through nine.”

At press time, the Rams were 1-4 overall and hadn’t played a game in the MAC Gold.

Some of the players expected to play key roles for Lamphere are Barrett, along with fellow seniors Cory Johnston and Stephen Marson, and junior Terrance Binion.

The Rams also have some younger players who can offer contributions.

“We had three kids that played as freshmen with us last year: Noah Hurst, Dylan Chargo and Jake Malak,” Wooley said. “They’re all a year more mature and have a year under their belt. And we’re introducing a couple young freshmen this year, too. We have a kid named Justin Mexico who’s a real good hitter, tough competitor; and then also another freshman by the name of Nick Kristich. He does a fantastic job, too. So the youth in transition is there, and (the) ability to have some veteran leadership is there too.”

Aside from his opinion that this is going to be a year in which Lamphere is competitive, Wooley also expressed optimism about the future of the program.

“Games can come and they can go because of our youth, but I think in the years to come here, we’ve got a solid foundation that’s (going to) be competitive and beyond for many years,” Wooley said.

Up next, Lamphere plays at 4:30 p.m. April 18 at home against Warren Woods Tower.

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