Walled Lake Northern had a week where it recorded its first divisional win, suffered a shutout loss and swept Farmington Hills Harrison.
The Knights (5-6 overall, 1-3 in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division) began the week on Monday, April 25 by traveling to Waterford Mott to complete the second game of a doubleheader against the Corsairs that was postponed by darkness on April 13.
Northern ended up earning its first win in KLAA North play with an 8-6 win over Mott. Senior Evan Kohler pitched five-plus innings to record his second win of the season, giving up 4 hits and 5 runs, with only 1 earned, while striking out 2 hitters and walking 6.
Mike Janas threw 1 and a third innings in relief while Chad Bailey picked up the save.
Cole Lubin popped his second homerun of the season and finished 2 for 3 with 2 runs, an RBI, a walk, and was hit by a pitched ball; while Dalton Cozart hit 3-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored.
Todd Larson also hit 4-for-4 with a stolen base and an RBI, while Ted Lilley doubled, scored twice, stole 3 bases and drove home a run.
“Evan (Kohler) played the stopper today giving us a strong pitching performance that was critical in us snapping our losing streak,” said Northern Head Coach Tim Baglow. “The entire line up contributed offensively today. (Cole) Lubin is coming on and (Todd) Larson has had a hot bat all year.”
Northern’s doubleheader against Walled Lake Western on Wednesday, April 27 was postponed by rain and was rescheduled for May 17.
The Knights then were shutout by Howell on the road, 6-0, on Friday, April 29 in a game in which Northern managed only two hits.
“You have to give credit to the Howell pitcher, he kept us off balance all day and that was ultimately the difference in this game. However, we need to do a better job supporting our pitchers — we’ve just had too many untimely fielding errors in some of our recent losses. If we can tighten up our defense, we’ll be just fine,” Baglow said.
Northern then hosted a doubleheader against Farmington Hills Harrison on Saturday, April 30 and swept the Hawks.
The Knights took the opener, 8-2, as Dalton Cozart also hit 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs, a walk, and a stolen base, and Alex Chow hit 3-for-3 with an RBI and a double.
Brandon Grodman picked up the win on the mound for Northern.
The Knights then followed up with a 10-1 victory in the nightcap. Cozart hit 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored and an RBI, while Lubin hit 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs, a run scored and a double.
Cam De Sir pitched 6 innings for the win, allowing only 2 hits, 1 run, and 5 walks while striking out 7 batters. Hunter Van Maele picked up the save by retiring all three batters he faced in the seventh inning.
“These two wins are important in building team confidence. With the exception of a couple of games, we’ve played some strong opponents competitively, and we needed to gain some momentum which will help us as we move into one of the more difficult weeks on our schedule,” Baglow said.
Northern hosted Hartland on Monday, May 2 and will welcome Huron Valley Lakeland in a doubleheader today, Wednesday, May 4 before playing in the Farmington Big 9 Championship Tournament on Saturday, May 7.