By Kennedy Werner
They’ve played through the rain, the mud, the wind, the cold, and the boiling sun; yet, they still have stunned the competition. With an astounding record of 4-1, WLC’s varsity baseball team (thirteenth in the county) has shown no mercy this season, especially against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.
The team’s first regulation game was played on April 2 at Hartland. Hartland’s team had a skilled pitcher that made it difficult for Central to get hits. Though Central lost 2-0, it was motivation for the athletes to put their best foot forward from there on out.
“My goals for this team are to improve on the little details each and every game and be on full circle when it comes to state playoffs,” stated head coach Michael Roffi.
The start of Central’s winning streak began on April 14 at St. Mary’s. Junior center fielder and pitcher Colin Gottschalk went 4 for 4 with two RBIs and junior left fielder Jay Boman went 3 for 4 with two RBIs. The final score was 12-10 and Central took home the win against the sixth best team in the county.
“The St. Mary’s game was the most exciting game. It was a lot of fun. Our team really came together at the game and everyone was playing well,” said Gottschalk.
The winning continued as Central took on Waterford Kettering in a double-header on April 17. Senior Kyle Wilkie pitched the first game well and Gottschalk took over for the second game.
April 18 brought the team another energizing win against Oxford. This was a special game for Roffi, considering it was his two-hundredth victory with Central in ten years. Junior RHP Matt Aldea pitched a one-hitter, with an excellent defensive behind him in the field.
“Coach just told me to keep the fast ball low and pitch to contact,” said Aldea, regarding his pitching, “As I did that, they just kept hitting grounders and pop ups.”
The team is composed of mainly juniors, and the few seniors are mostly college-bound athletes.As the season comes to a close, the seniors reflect fondly on the years they have been with their teammates. Center fielder and pitcher Mike Morelli will be playing for Saginaw Valley State University. Catcher Kevin O’Malley and second baseman and pitcher Zach Kallgren will both be playing for Trine University.
“The main difference between college and high school will be the commitment level,” said Morelli, “I will miss my teammates the most. These are guys I have grown up around and played on their teams for years and now we will all be splitting up and that will be the hardest thing about this final season.”
Roffi adds, “These seniors are great leaders and high quality players. They will be hard to replace but they are great role models for my juniors for next year’s team.”