Walled Lake Central has earned Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) North Division championships this year in football, boys basketball and now, baseball.
The Vikings (18-9 overall, 10-6 in the KLAA North) won three of four division games last week to claim their second consecutive KLAA North baseball crown.
After beginning the week on a down note with a 5-0 loss at Huron Valley Milford on Monday, May 16, Central came home to host a doubleheader on Wednesday, May 19 against Walled Lake Northern, which was in second-place in the KLAA North entering that day.
Central rose to the occasion and swept the Knights, taking the opener, 9-5, before winning the nightcap, 6-4.
Things didn’t look good for Central early in the first game, as the Knights (11-15, 7-9) grabbed a 4-1 lead.
However, the Vikings responded with four runs in the bottom of the second inning, a run in the third, two runs in the fourth and one run in the sixth.
Zach Leimbach hit 2-for-3 for the Vikings, while Austin Telling hit 2-for-4 and James Sullivan hit 4-for-4.
Brandon Cichocki pitched six innings to earn the win on the mound for Central. Chad Bailey took the loss for Northern.
Todd Larson and Matt Jerore also each hit 2-run home runs for the Knights, while Hunter Van Maele hit a solo home run.
In the second game, the Vikings again fell behind early as Northern jumped out to a 4-0 lead. But, Central scored one run in the third inning and then broke loose with five runs in the fourth inning and held on to complete the sweep.
Zach Percha had three RBIs for Central. Blake Burns hit 2-for-3 and Andrew Goor picked up the victory in relief.
Cole Lubin was stuck with the loss for Northern, while Larson hit 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI and Evan Kohler hit 2-for-2 with an RBI double.
Central then traveled to Huron Valley Lakeland on Thursday, May 19 with the KLAA Division title on the line and defeated the Eagles in the opener, 6-4, to officially clinch the division lead.
Shane Daykin struck out seven batters for the Vikings, while Leimbach picked up his fourth-straight save.
Joe Harris hit 3-for-4 for Central. Sullivan hit 2-for-4 and Leimbach hit 2-for-3.
The Eagles would strike back in the nightcap and win 11-5 behind a pair of RBIs and two runs by Graham Shearer.
Central finished with a division record of 10-6, while Lakeland (13-15) finished in second-place with an 8-8 record.
Central was scheduled to play at Hartland in the KLAA Lakes Conference championship game on Monday, May 23 after press time.
The winner is scheduled to play today, Wednesday, May 25 in the KLAA Championship game hosted by the Kensington Conference champion.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association state tournament will begin with district play on Tuesday, May 31.
Central will play in the South Lyon district, along with Northern, Walled Lake Western, Brighton and host South Lyon.