Southfield Christian senior Zach Johnson drops down a bunt during a May 6 practice. At press time, the Eagles were 6-2 overall.

Southfield Christian senior Zach Johnson drops down a bunt during a May 6 practice. At press time, the Eagles were 6-2 overall.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Southfield Christian baseball looking to get back to winning tradition

By: Zachary Manning | Southfield Sun | Published May 8, 2019

 Southfield Christian senior Matthew Guerra takes a swing during a May 6 practice. Guerra is a member of the Eagles’ pitching staff.

Southfield Christian senior Matthew Guerra takes a swing during a May 6 practice. Guerra is a member of the Eagles’ pitching staff.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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SOUTHFIELD — From 1993 to 2009, Southfield Christian baseball knew almost nothing but league and district titles.

During that time, the Eagles missed out on one league title and three district titles. Coach Len Guerra was a mainstay during that dominant period, coaching the Eagles from 1997 to 2008.

Now, after some time off and a year as an assistant, Guerra is back as the head man of the Eagles. At press time, Southfield Christian was 6-2 overall, with both losses coming by just one run.

The Eagles know the rich history of the program and are striving to get the program back to winning league and district titles year in and year out.

“Looking up at the wall, there’s a lot of stuff, and I think we’re all just excited to get our year up there,” senior Zach Johnson said. “It’s a big boost for us, and I know we’re all motivated to do it.”

A big reason for the Eagles’ success this season has been the play on the mound, where the team is spearheaded by three upperclassmen in junior Blake Parpart, and seniors Matthew Guerra and Johnson.

Thanks in large part to that pitching depth and sound defense, Southfield Christian has outscored its opponents 65-28. Johnson praised the job the defense has done behind him, and Matthew Guerra noted how much good pitching helps the team.

“When you have guys throwing strikes, not walking, it helps the games go by faster, helps save pitch counts,” Matthew Guerra said. “The pitching staff has been really great this year, and I’m super proud of the guys that are throwing.”

To go along with solid pitching, a big boost for the Eagles has been veteran leadership. The team features seven seniors, and with none of the coaches working at the school, the players are responsible for getting everybody and everything set up for practice.

“We couldn’t do what we’re doing now if we didn’t have strong leadership and a heavy senior-balanced team, so it’s been great,” Len Guerra said.

With the Eagles winning a league title last season, the journey back to their old ways has commenced. However, a subsequent loss in a Division 4 district final game to Royal Oak Shrine has them motivated to bring home the trophy this year.

Southfield Christian will be in a district at Allen Park Inter-City Baptist with Detroit Leadership Academy, Taylor Trillium and the host. The Eagles have already knocked off Inter-City Baptist twice by a combined score of 11-1.

“Typically, in order to go far in the playoffs, you’ve got to be deep pitching-wise, and at least we’re there,” Len Guerra said. “I think we’re getting better. We still have guys that are very capable hitters that haven’t yet got in full stride, and if those guys start coming on, I think we’ll be a tough team to beat.”

The Eagles’ next game is at 4:30 p.m. May 9 at home against Bloomfield Hills Roeper.

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