Lake Fenton — The Lake Fenton varsity baseball team just can’t be contained in Flint Metro League action this season.
The Blue Devils moved out to a perfect 9-0 start in Flint Metro League Stars Division action (10-0 overall) by sweeping Owosso on Monday and earning a third victory on Thursday.
The Blue Devils defeated Owosso during Monday’s opening game 11-1 and then won a closer contest in the nightcap 6-3. Thursday’s victory was a tad on the sloppy side, but the Blue Devils still earned a fairly comfortable 9-6 victory at home.
“We just don’t give up,” Lake Fenton’s Kenny Wright said. “No matter what happens, we just keep going.
“I love the bonds that we have on this team. We are just a well-bonded team.”
“This team loves to be around each other,” Lake Fenton varsity baseball coach Jacob Kirk said. “More so than what I’ve seen during the last couple of years. They love showing up, battling with each other for positions, competing for spots, but they just love to be around each other. And I think it shows in our play. The way they pick each other up when a mistake happens or when one of us strike out, the next guy behind, picks us up. These guys seem to be pretty level-headed.”
In Thursday’s final game of the three-game swing with Owosso, the Blue Devils never trailed. They scored a run in the bottom of the first when Lance Willman singled, stole second and eventually scored on Wright’s two-out single. However, Owosso answered back with a run of their own, set up by back-to-back fielding errors by the Blue Devils to start the top of the second. An RBI-single by Owosso’s Cody Fields tied it up.
But Lake Fenton scored a run in the bottom of the second and never lost the lead again. The run in the second was set up when starting pitcher Zack Melynchek helped his cause with a leadoff double. Courtesy runner Nash Verhelle eventually scored on an RBI-fielder’s choice grounder by Willman.
Lake Fenton scored two more in the fourth. With two out Tate Caverly and Sam Shumaker walked. Willman was hit by a pitch and Clay Cook responded with a two-out two-run single. Lake Fenton led 4-1.
A four-run fifth began with a Wright single and then a sacrifice by Jacob Stevenson that was booted. Wright actually scored and Stevenson ended up on third. Carson Haddad followed with an RBI-single and Melynchek walked. Shumaker then drove in two runs with a two-run single.
Owosso scored three runs in the top of the sixth with the aid of a Lake Fenton error, cutting the gap to 8-4, but the Blue Devils added another run in the bottom of the sixth. Haddad singled and eventually scored on Caverly’s single that included an error on the safety.
Owosso made it interesting in the top of the seventh, scoring two runs and having two runners on with two out, but a wacky infield fly rule double play ended the contest, giving the Blue Devils the win.
Melynchek earned the win with five innings of three-run ball. However, two of those runs were unearned.
In Monday’s opener, the Blue Devils jumped to a 5-0 lead with five runs in the top of the second inning, and they cruised from there, eventually earning the five-inning mercy rule victory.
The second inning started with a Kenny Wright double, followed by a Jacob Stevenson RBI-single. The Blue Devils led 1-0. Stevenson stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Carson Haddad’s sacrifice fly. Zack Melyncheck singled and an out later, JJ LaVallier singled. Lance Willman followed with an RBI-single and Clay Cook followed with an RBI-single as well. Another run scored on an Owosso error. Lake Fenton led 5-0.
The lead grew to 7-0 in the second on the game’s biggest hit, a two-run home run by Stevenson. Wright walked to open the inning and Stevenson followed by hitting a 3-1 pitch beyond the left field fence for a two-run shot. Lake Fenton led 7-0.
Four more runs were scored in the fourth. LaVallier walked and two outs later Reid Shumaker walked. Wright followed with a two-out two-run double and Stevenson followed that with an RBI-double. Hadadd capped the Lake Fenton scoring with an RBI-single. Lake Fenton led 11-0.
On the mound, Wright tossed a five-inning complete-game, allowing just three hits and no walks. He needed only 57 pitches, tossing 39 of those pitches for strikes. His only big he did allow was a solo home run to Alex Krawczyk, ending his shutout bid in the bottom of the fifth.
The Blue Devils had to come from behind in the second contest. Owosso led 3-2 after scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth, but the Blue Devils tied it with a run in the fifth and then took the lead for good after Max Keller’s three-run home run to earn the 6-3 victory .
The tying run came in the fifth when Willman walked and eventually scored on Shumaker’s RBI-single. The Lake Fenton sixth saw Haddad hit a lead off single and Verhelle reach base on an error, setting up Keller’s home run to left field.
Lake Fenton led early on as well after soring two runs in the top of the third. Keller singled and he scored on Willman’s singles. Willman scored on a passed ball. Owosso retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth on Damon Burdick’s two-run double, but the Trojans’ 3-2 lead was short-lived.
Shumaker tossed six innings of five-hit, one-walk ball, striking out nine. He did allow a solo home run by Owosso’s Hugh Doyle in the bottom of the first inning. Fifty-six of his 81 pitches were strikes. He earned the victory. Earning the save was Stevenson who pitched one inning of shutout ball, albeit a tough inning. Owosso had three hits in the bottom of the seventh, but a double play ball helped. The final out came on a pickoff as well.