South Lake out for second straight run to regional round

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published April 10, 2015

 The St. Clair Shores South Lake baseball team next takes the field for a MAC Bronze tilt with New Haven at 4:30 p.m. April 16 at New Haven. Pictured is Cavaliers coach Jose Jimenez during an April 3 game against Roseville High that was suspended due to inclement weather.

The St. Clair Shores South Lake baseball team next takes the field for a MAC Bronze tilt with New Haven at 4:30 p.m. April 16 at New Haven. Pictured is Cavaliers coach Jose Jimenez during an April 3 game against Roseville High that was suspended due to inclement weather.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — The St. Clair Shores South Lake baseball team hasn’t raised a lot of postseason banners, so last season’s Division 2 district title win was a big deal for the program.


“We’re expected to win now,” said senior first baseman Anthony Bommarito, a member of last year’s team that beat Center Line 6-3 in a district final. “We like that. We want to be a respected program. The district title helped make a name for (South Lake baseball).”


The team is hopeful of another strong playoff run, as the Cavs return 11 players from a team that went 16-8, 9-3 Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division. South Lake coach Jose Jimenez said the team has set goals of winning division and district titles. The team has finished above .500 in five of the last six seasons.


The Cavs fell 16-1 to South Lyon East in the regional semifinals last spring. The district title was just the second in program history.


“They know what it takes now,” Jimenez said. “They got spanked in the regionals, so they know how that feels. They know what’s expected now and how much hard work they’ve got to put in. They worked hard all winter to get ready for this season.”

 

Senior pitcher Jack Taylor said several players on the team took the regional loss hard, and that he told his mates to continue to work hard to get past that point.


In order for those goals to materialize, the Cavs will have to play strong defense and have solid pitching, according to Jimenez. He said pitching will make or break the team’s season, as South Lake does not have a lot of power in its lineup. The team’s hitters are aggressive at the plate, though, Jimenez said.


“We’ve got to do some of the other things — move runners around, hit to the right side of the field,” Jimenez said. “As long as they play to their capabilities, we’ll be OK.”


Leading the charge are seniors Alex Elkhoury (left field), Taylor and Bommarito. Each player, and the rest of their teammates, is focused on having a strong season.


“We’re not fooling around at all during practice or anywhere else,” Elkhoury said. “If everybody continues to work hard, we’ll be good.”


South Lake has remained in contention for the MAC Bronze title for some time now, finishing second in the league behind New Haven in 2013 and 2014. The Cavs won league titles in 2010 and 2012.


Jimenez said he expects the league to feature a close divisional race because all the teams are comparable to each other.


“Anybody can win it,” Jimenez said. “We want to battle for the league title. We’re also focused on getting beyond the district round. It’s all possible as long as everybody plays together. We can do it.”


South Lake next takes the field for a matchup against New Haven at 4:30 p.m. April 16 at New Haven.

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