A mixture of seniors and sophomores has Rochester in the thick of the OAA Red Division title hunt
Rochester – Often a team’s success is not determined by the amount of talented players but how often those players play to their abilities.
Coach Eric Magiera is in his sixth season at Rochester. Last season the Falcons finished 20-15 losing in a Division 1 district final. The acceptance of that disappointment came with the knowledge that this season would be better as most of those players would return.
Rochester is indeed off to a good start as the Falcons swept a doubleheader from Macomb L’Anse Creuse North on Saturday to improve to 13-3. They are 4-2 and tied for first place with Lake Orion in the highly competitive Oakland Activities Association Red Division after taking two-of-three from Rochester Adams last week.
“We’re having a good season,” Magiera said. “We’re off to a great start. We thought we’d be good. Talent hasn’t been an issue since I’ve been here. The question is whether you can go out and do it every day.
“Our defense has had four or five bad innings. Other than that we’ve been flawless (in the field). Our hitting has been solid all year.”
Rochester scored 17 runs in its three games with Adams and three of the four sophomores in the starting lineup are batting over .350.
It all starts with Rochester’s ace, Jake Stout. Stout is a 6-5, 190-pound right-hander who signed with Toledo. He’s 3-0 and has three homers this season.
Fellow senior Mitch Weber is at first base and is batting a sizzling .517.
The No. 2 pitcher is senior Zach Gordon (2-1). Gordon is the starting shortstop and Magiera said Gordon is “as good as you’ll find defensively” at that position.
Now the sophomores. They are third baseman Tyler Frankhouse, Thomas Loftus (SS/P/CF) and Mark Matynka (DH). With a .310 batting average catcher Ryan Gladstone brings up the rear in that category but Magiera insists that Gladstone, who started as a freshman, will be one of the state’s top players in two years.
Eagles take county title
Utica Eisenhower is 1-2 in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division but one must remember two things. It’s early and the MAC Red is one of the most competitive softball divisions in the state.
Eisenhower (9-3) went 5-0 and won the Macomb County Classic this past weekend. The Eagles defeated Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse 16-3 in the semifinals then bested Novi 9-6 in the final.
Infielder Kayla Laquiere is one of the state’s top players and has been consistent in the field and at the plate.
Sydni Culps supplies the power in the lineup. She has seven home runs this season including two against L’Anse Creuse.
Normally a first baseman, Culps started the season behind the plate. This weekend coach Bob Hall moved Malynn Kosnik over from the junior varsity to replace Culps at catcher allowing Culps to move back to her comfort zone at first.
“As soon as I moved her back there,” Hall said. “Boom. She started cracking the ball. She’s tearing it up now.”