Senior-led Cousino baseball team ready to get season started

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Warren Weekly | Published March 27, 2015

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WARREN — A group of 10 seniors, in what Warren Cousino baseball coach Justin Newcomb called as strong a class as he’d had in his tenure, will lead a team focused on ending 2015 on a different note than it did last season.

The Patriots, who finished 23-9 overall and 11-4 in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division, which was good enough for their second straight league title, lost 3-2 to Berkley High in a Division 1 district quarterfinal. The game ended on a suicide squeeze.

“We can’t wait to get things started,” Patriots senior outfielder/pitcher Joey Maleszyk said. “It’s our senior year. It’s a big year. We’ve been thinking about getting this season started ever since the Berkley loss.”

Cousino opened the season against Troy Athens on March 30, after press time. The schedule doesn’t lighten up, as the team takes on perennial power Sterling Heights Stevenson at 4:30 p.m. April 1 at Cousino.

The team is so amped up for the season that Cousino players opted to skip spring break to play in the 2015 Macomb County Spring Break Tourney, set for April 6-11. The Patriots went 7-0 in winning the tournament last season. This year’s field includes Macomb Dakota, Warren Mott, Richmond High, Auburn Hills Avondale, St. Clair Shores Lakeview, Utica Eisenhower, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse, Fraser High and Port Huron Northern.

Senior infielder/outfielder/pitcher Adam Freiman said playing in the tournament helps to build team chemistry. Senior infielder/pitcher Chris Stewart said playing in the tournament is good for everyone on the team.

“It gives our pitchers a chance to get some added reps, and it helps the younger guys to get the jitters out,” Stewart said. “Plus, it’s baseball season. We can’t go on spring break.”

Newcomb said the team would only be as strong as its senior class. He said that group — which includes infielder Jordan Torrento in addition to Maleszyk, Freiman and Stewart — sets the tone for the entire team in terms of how it prepares.

“It’s been fantastic to coach this group,” Newcomb said. “This is a true team. They lift each other up — whether it’s baseball or otherwise. They even tutor each other after school. That’s special because you don’t have that all the time.”

Because of its recent success, Cousino this season moves to the MAC White, bypassing the MAC Blue. Newcomb said it’s an honor to be in the MAC White and that credit for the move up two divisions goes to past teams and players.

The Cousino coach said playing in the new league will be tough, as the White includes solid programs — Utica Ford, Romeo High, Grosse Pointe North, L’Anse Creuse and Mott.

“We’ll get tested early,” Newcomb said.

Maleszyk said he thinks the Patriots are good enough to win the White. He said the team’s pitching is strong.

Stewart said he thinks Cousino has a well-balanced squad.

“We field the ball exceptionally well,” Stewart said. “Our pitching is solid. Hitting comes and goes with a lot of teams, but we can get the timely hits. I just think we have a solid team.”

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