Heroics, heartbreak on diamond

BY JACK KUCZMANSKI
Clarkston News Student Writer
The Wolves fought hard this past Saturday at their MHSAA Baseball District tournament, but, after winning an incredible semi-final matchup in extra-innings, they were defeated in the finals by Lake Orion.
The day began with one of the most intense baseball games some fans have witnessed, as the Wolves took on the Waterford Mott Corsairs in the semi-finals.
Sophomore Mason Kolean started on the mound for the Wolves and pitched wonderfully in his six innings of work. He had six strikeouts, and gave up only two hits and one unearned run.
The game was neck-and-neck through the first seven innings of play, with the only run scored by the Wolves with an RBI from senior Joe Kuczmanski and junior Zach Scott on the run.
At the end of seven, the score was tied 1-1, forcing the game into extra innings. The game remained 1-1 through the eighth inning, but in the top of the ninth, the Clarkston bats caught fire, and it was winning time for the Wolves.
Sophomore Seth Bacon got the inning started with a laser single up the middle. Junior Tyler Garrett followed him with another single.
With one out, senior Joe Halligan crushed a single to right field to bring in Bacon and Garrett, giving the Wolves a 3-1 lead. Then, Scott had a big RBI single to make the game 4-1.
In the bottom of the ninth, Kuczmanski pitched spectacularly to shut the door and give the Wolves a 4-2 victory.

Joe Kuczmanski pulls back his pitch against Clarkston's opponents earlier in the season. File photo
Joe Kuczmanski pulls back his pitch against Clarkston’s opponents earlier in the season. File photo

Kuczmanski came directly in after Kolean, and pitched two clutch innings.
“It was one of the most exciting games I have ever been a part of,” says senior leader Dylan Perry, reflecting on the weekend.
“Joe Halligan was so clutch with those hits at the end of the game, and Mason and Joe were awesome on the mound,” Perry added.
The finals didn’t go how the Wolves wanted. Clarkston played well in this game, but Lake Orion came out hot with their bats, and had a phenomenal pitcher on the mound. The Dragons ended up winning 5-0, capturing the district crown.
“It’s a disappointing end because it’s always our goal to win districts, but in the same respect I was very proud of the way we fought in those games,” remarked Phil Price, head coach. “Seeing Dylan Perry’s leadership, Joe Halligan’s big hitting and great catches, Kolean, Kuczmanski, and Momrik’s great pitching, it was all very impressive. All in all I’m proud of the way we battled.”
Perry summed it up by saying, “It’s a heartbreaking way to end my senior career, but we played hard and really put it all out there. I’ll never forget the jokes we told and the memories we made on this team. The seniors were such a great group to be around, and although we lost, it’s been a heck of a ride with these boys.”
The Wolves finished the season with a overall 21-15 record.