BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves were victorious at the new Roy “Pops” Warner Classic tournament last Saturday as they went 3-0 for the day.
“I liked the way we battled,” said Phil Price, head coach for Clarkston Varsity Baseball. “Playing three games in one day is tough. Mentally they battled and were focused – it was nice. It was three competitive games and for the most part we played really good defense.”
The Wolves opened the tournament shutting down Lakeview, 6-0. They opened the game with one run from Joe Kuczmanski off a single hit. They scored big during the fourth inning with four runs.
Kuczmanski, Joe Halligan and Zach Scott went 2-for-3 during the game. Ryan Cooper, Jeremy Janik, Brenden Quick had one RBI each and Quick hit a double. Tyler Garrett had two RBIs.
Quick pitched for five and two-thirds of an inning only allowing two hits and not allowing any runs. He had four strikeouts.
“He had a phenomenal day pitching,” Price added. “He did a great job the first game and it set the tone for the whole day.”
The Wolves were behind in their second game of the day against Linden by two runs. Clarkston came back at the bottom of the sixth inning with three runs to win the game, 3-2.
Halligan hit a triple on his lone hit and had one RBI. Scott and Quick also had one RBI each on their lone hits. Seth Bacon went 1-for-2 at the plate, hitting a double.
Mason Kolean was the winning pitcher, throwing for six innings only surrendering two runs, four hits and struck out two batters.
“We had great pitching,” Price added. “Linden is one of the better teams in division two. Mason gave up two runs in the first couple of innings and shut them down the rest of the game. A lot of kids did a lot of good things.”
The Wolves took the lead late in their 5-3 win over Cranbrook as they scored three runs at the bottom of the fifth inning. Caden Morello and Halligan went 2-for-3 at the bat. Halligan hit a double and a triple and had one RBI and Morello had two RBIs.
“Joe had a phenomenal day hitting,” Price added.
Jake Spicer pitched for four innings. He struck out four batters, allowed two hits and didn’t allow any runs. Barak Momrik pitched for three innings allowing three runs, two hits and had two strikeouts.
“Spicer came in and threw the last four innings and shut them out,” Price said. “Defensively Zach was flawless at short stop. He did a great job for us.”
The Wolves finished their three game series against Oxford on Wednesday with a 9-7 loss, going 1-2 in the series.
The Wolves captured the lead during the bottom of the second inning off a bunt from Connor Christensen to bring one run in to put the score, 1-0.
Oxford tied the score and took the lead in the next inning, 3-1.
The Wolves scored one run in the fourth inning. Then, tied the score at five during the bottom of the seventh inning beginning with one run from Momrik and Halligan brought in two runs.
Halligan went 3-for-4 at bat with four RBIs. Garrett went 2-for-3 and Caden Morello had one RBI.
Kuczmanski pitched for four innings with 84 throws, one hit and six strikeouts.
Clarkston went 1-1 in their series against Oxford on May 15. They opened the night with a 4-3 loss.
Kuczmanski boosted the boys in the first inning, bringing in two runners off his hit. He went 2-for-2 in the game with two RBIs. Ryan Barber had one RBI off his lone hit.
Momrik pitched for five innings with two strikeouts.
The Wolves closed the night with a 4-1 win, scoring three runs between the third and fourth innings. Scott went 4-for-4 at the best while Morello went 2-for-3. Halligan had one double and one RBI off his lone hit.
Kolean pitched for seven innings and struck out nine batters while only giving up one run.
“We are getting better,” Price said. “We still have some room to grow, but we are getting better.”
The Wolves opened the week with a double header against Waterford Kettering and prepare to get ready for MHSAA District playoffs.
They play Waterford Mott in the semifinals of districts at Lake Orion High School on June 3, 10 a.m.
The winner moves on to play the winner of the Lake Orion/Oxford game. Finals are at 3 p.m.
The tournament is named in honor of Pops Warner, who passed away this past January. A memorial service for Warner, who taught for Clarkston Community Schools from September 1969 to June 2004 as a physical education teacher and was also a baseball and football coach, will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 10, at Calvary Lutheran Church, 6805 Bluegrass Drive.