Last year, on May 31st, 2016 the Loy Norrix High School baseball team celebrated a big 4-3 win over their first opponent, Gull Lake, in districts.
Reflecting back on this major win, Senior catcher Griffin Conley describes the mindset of the team going into their first district game this year.
“Last year we were very close to beating them in the regular season so we knew we were there, but there was uncertainty because they did have a very good pitcher. We were uncertain we could hit the ball off of him, but from earlier in the season we knew we could stay in it by using the fundamentals of the game.” said Conley. “This year I’ve seen the same attitude, we haven’t been out of any games. When we played Niles we lost 17-2 then came back 5-2 for the second game. The same attitude has been there all season and we are ready to play a good Portage Northern team.”
After defeating Gull Lake, the Knights went on to win the district semi-final game over Mattawan 1-0. In the final game, the Knights came up short and lost to Portage Northern 8-11.
The Knights faced the Portage Northern Huskies again on Tuesday, May 30th, in a rematch game that ended the Knights 2016 season. The Knights won 5-4 in seven innings on Tuesday and now will face the Portage Central Mustangs at Portage Central on Saturday, June 3rd. The start time for this next game is at noon, and the winner will face either Mattawan or Kalamazoo Central in the district finals at 2pm.
Throughout the past couple of weeks the Knights have had some impressive performances. Junior Adam Dorstewitz pitched 9 innings against Mattawan on May 9th, allowing only two hits. Due to the sheer amount of games in the last two weeks of the season and raw athleticism, Sophomore Yohaness Ademodi was recently moved up to the varsity team and has hit three home runs in the last week of the regular season.
The Knights baseball team has many strengths, and according to senior center fielder Tony Dougherty how they use them will be imperative.
“We can play with anyone but we have to want to beat them in order to do it. Without that drive we won’t go anywhere. Each player has a key strength to them. We have a few strong hitters, strong pitchers and strong fielders,” continued Dougherty. “When it comes all together we will win. Solid defense behind a strong pitcher, backed up by hits and runs will win us a game, but like I said before, they need to happen at the same time.”
It was visible to the supporting fans from last years district games that the Knights baseball team wanted a district title, and they came very close to getting that. Now is a time for second chances and the Loy Norrix Knights are as ready as ever.