Roseville baseball out for postseason success

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published March 31, 2015

 The Roseville High baseball team returns seven of nine starters from last season. Pictured is Panthers junior catcher Matt Fowler during a March 23 practice.

The Roseville High baseball team returns seven of nine starters from last season. Pictured is Panthers junior catcher Matt Fowler during a March 23 practice.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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ROSEVILLE — Winning a Macomb Area Conference Silver Division title last season was a great accomplishment for the Roseville High baseball team, but the squad now has its sights set on a different title.


“A district title is the goal,” said Panthers coach Keith Marzec, a Roseville High graduate now in his 14th year with the team. “We’ve gotten close. We want to get it done. We don’t want to be one and done in the state tournament again.”


Roseville, which went 12-5 last season, fell 9-7 in extra innings to Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse in a 2014 Division 1 district semifinal. Marzec, who last season guided the team to its first division championship since 2010, believes the team has the pieces for a long postseason run.


“For us to make a deep postseason run would show the type of talent we have in this program,” said junior catcher Matt Fowler, a three-year varsity player.


The team returns seven starters from last season, including a number of three- and four-year varsity players. Pitching is the team’s strength, Marzec said, as the squad has a pretty deep rotation led by junior Evan Gates and senior Austin Schafer.


“We’ve got some horses,” Marzec said. “When you’ve got horses to go out and pitch for you every day, you’ll be in a good position (to succeed).”


Marzec is looking for senior third baseman Austin Morrow, senior shortstop Ryan DiCiaccia and Fowler to have solid seasons. Those three, along with Gates and Schafer, make up a solid core of players who have been with the team for a while, Marzec said.


The push for postseason success comes in part from the team’s belief that it is once again the class of the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division. Marzec, whose team has seen its win total increase in each of the last four seasons, said winning a league title last season after finishing second in 2013 was nice, but the team has other goals now.


“Not to be arrogant, but I expect us (to win the MAC Silver) again,” Marzec said. “Center Line is tough; Rob Conti always does a great job there. Sterling Heights High will battle. But, on paper, I think we’re the team to beat.”


In the postseason, the Panthers will play in a Class A district tournament at Grosse Pointe North in a field that comprises East Detroit High, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore, St. Clair Shores Lakeview, North and Roseville. To prep his team for the postseason, Marzec beefed up Roseville’s non-league schedule with teams such as Richmond High, Sterling Heights Parkway Christian and Madison Heights Lamphere.


Marzec, whose team opened the season with a game against Warren Lincoln on March 30, after press time, said he likes his squad’s chances in the grouping.


“I feel good about it. It doesn’t matter who we play as long as we play good baseball,” Marzec said. “You’re going to have to beat some good teams to win a district, regardless of what group you’re in.


“If we’re going to win a district title, this is the time to get it done.”


Roseville next takes the field for a matchup against St. Clair Shores South Lake, slated for 4:30 p.m. April 3 at South Lake.

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