2017-04-19 / Sports

Warriors top Mavericks in slugfest

BY CHRIS WALL
STAFF WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER


Above left: Walled Lake Western junior Josh Messing fires a strike in the Warriors’ 11-9 victory over Milford on Thursday, April 13 at Milford. Above right: Western’s Davis Hixson with the sacrifice bunt as the Warriors beat Milford, 11-9. Above left: Walled Lake Western junior Josh Messing fires a strike in the Warriors’ 11-9 victory over Milford on Thursday, April 13 at Milford. Above right: Western’s Davis Hixson with the sacrifice bunt as the Warriors beat Milford, 11-9. Fans who braved the chilly weather in Milford on Thursday afternoon were treated to a good old-fashioned slugfest between the Mavericks and the Warriors. Two towering home runs in the first two innings set the stage. It was clear that the game would probably come down to the final at bat for both teams.

The Warriors came out on top, 11-9, over the Mavericks on the brisk afternoon where both teams combined for 25 hits that produced 20 runs as the scoreboard operator was busy.

After giving up a run in the first inning, Milford erupted for four runs, highlighted by a two-run homer that landed in the evergreen trees in leftfield by Nicky Friedman. The blast gave the Mavericks a 4-1 margin.

The Warriors answered in the top of the second as Kevin Guggemos hammered a two-run blast to left center to cut the deficit to 4-3. Walled Lake Western exploded for five runs in the top of the third thanks to a double by Guggemos that scored three runs to go ahead 8-4.

The host Mavericks added single runs in the second, third and fourth innings to narrow the margin to 8-6. Western scored two runs on backto back doubles by Brendan McManamon and Thomas Hoevener, a walk, and a Maverick error to lead 10-6.

The pesky Mavericks cut the margin to 10-8 on singles by Connor Jensen, an RBI single by Friedman and an RBI single by Josh Bravo in the bottom of the fifth. Walled Lake Western junior Ilija Lazich came on in relief of starter Josh Messing to put out the fire and pick up the save for the Warriors.

Guggemos drove in his fifth run of the game on a fielder’s choice in the top of the seventh as Western took a 11-8 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Milford made things interesting, picking up an unearned run for the 11-9 final.

“I was just really pleased,” said Warrior Coach Brad Sheck. “The guys could have hung their heads after the first inning. We stuck to it and grinded it out. I’m really happy to see the bats come alive today. Kevin broke out with his first three hits of the year, believe it or not. He’s one of our leaders and we are expecting big things out of him.”

Guggemos had a huge day at the plate for the Warriors, going three for five, including a towering two-run homer, a double which produced five RBIs.

“I was really frustrated with myself after the first pop-up in the first inning” said Guggemos. “Coaches told me to stay back on the ball. I switched to a new bat on the home run.”

Bravo had a big day to lead the Mavericks’ offense with three hits and one RBI in the slugfest.

Milford (2-2 KLAA, 4-2) swept a doubleheader on Saturday against Lakeland, scoring 32 runs. After traveling to Waterford Kettering (1-3 KLAA, 1-3) on Monday, the Mavericks host Hartland (2-1 KLAA, 4-2) in a twin-bill.

The Warriors (2-2 in KLAA, 2-4) struggled to score runs on Saturday dropping a doubleheader to Livonia Churchill (0-4 KLAA, 2-4.) Western hosted Howell (1-2 KLAA, 2-4) on Monday and will make the short trip to Walled Lake Central (1-2 KLAA, 2-2) to battle the Vikings in a doubleheader this afternoon.

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