2017-05-17 / Walled Lake Northern

Knights win KLAA North Division Championship

BY CHRIS WALL
STAFF WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER

When the opportunity arises to win a championship, you must seize the opportunity. Walled Lake Walled Lake Northern junior Robert Jones with one of his three hits to lead the Knights to the KLAA North Division title with a 5-2 victory over Lakeland on Thursday, May 11.Walled Lake Northern junior Robert Jones with one of his three hits to lead the Knights to the KLAA North Division title with a 5-2 victory over Lakeland on Thursday, May 11.Northern did so with a 5-2 win over Lakeland on Thursday to capture the KLAA North Division baseball championship and the Battle of Bogie Lake Road II.

The Knights led from start to finish as junior pitcher Zach Northcott turned in a masterful performance over seven innings. He scattered just four hits, striking out seven and giving up no earned runs. Robert Jones had three hits, including an RBI single in the first, while Zach Brunet chipped in with two hits to lead the Northern offense.

Senior Nick Powell led the game with a walk and scored on a RBI single by Jones to give the Knights a quick 1-0 lead. This seemed to give Northern a boost as Northcott got in a grove on the mound, retiring the side in order in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

Jones singled and scored what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the third on an error to give Northern a 3-1 margin. This was the second of five costly errors by the Eagles.

Northern took a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double by Brunet, a walk and a throwing error. This was all Northcott needed as the Knights’ defense was steady throughout the game, making plays when it counted.

“I loved how hard my team played,” said Northcott as he raised his record to 6-2. “I tried finding the zone, but I have to give my team credit for playing such good defense and hitting the ball. I threw a lot of off speed stuff and I really felt comfortable from the beginning so we just went with it.”

The victory on Thursday capped a pressure packed week for Northern as they won seven of nine games on the road to the title. “One of our strategies is we want to put pressure on the team so if we score in the first it puts us in a pretty good advantage,” said Head Coach Joe Lamerato.

Since both teams finished the KLAA North with identical 11-5 records, the Knights (11-5 KLAA, 18-7) take the championship and the number-one seed in the upcoming KLAA tournament. Northern beat Lakeland, 4-1, in their first meeting on April 19, thus sweeping both games.

The Knights played at Brighton for the KLAA Lakes Conference Championship on Monday. A victory on Monday will advance Northern to the KLAA Association Championship game today.

Return to top