BASEBALL: Lake Orion Baptist finally wins first MACS title with win over Troy Bethany Christian | North Oakland Sports
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BASEBALL: Lake Orion Baptist finally wins first MACS title with win over Troy Bethany Christian

| June 12, 2016 | Comments (0)

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

AUBURN HILLS – By the shear number of chances, it was eventually bound to happen for Lake Orion Baptist on the baseball diamond.

The Lions, previously 0-6 in the Michigan Association of Christian Schools Division I baseball state finals, finally claimed their first state title Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Troy Bethany Christian at Auburn Hills Oakland Christian.

Lake Orion Baptist won MACS state titles in girls volleyball (2013) and wrestling (2014), but could not get over the hump and break the hex on the baseball diamond until the final day of the 2016 season.

The Lions lost in the finals in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2014, each time coming up short in the title quest.

“Finally,” beamed Lake Orion Baptist coach and athletics director Cole Welby. “We’ve come close so many times but could never win it. I felt that as the No. 1 seed that we would have a great chance this year. But you never know.”

After missing the first month of the season for a missions trip to Africa, junior Ben Gingell finished the season unbeaten at 5-0 from the bump. The right-hander threw 102 pitches over seven innings of work, scattered only four hits, struck out 13, walked none and yielded only one earned run in the win for Lake Orion Baptist.

“He’s tough,” said Welby of Gingell. “We’ve had some good pitchers here for a small school and he’s one of the best. He was in command most of the game. He got out of a jam early in the game and only gave up the one run.”

With two runners on base, Gingell pitched his way out of a tough spot in the first inning when he got the Bruins to ground into a inning-ending fielder’s choice.

Lake Orion Baptist scored the first four runs of the game and never trailed.

The Lions grabbed a 1-0 lead when sophomore Mike Slezak doubled and Gingell plated him with an RBI sac fly. Junior Hunter Krucji added an RBI groundout later in the frame for a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, Lake Orion Baptist added its third run when Scott Streetman — the team’s lone senior — laced a one-out double and scored on freshman Daniel Cone’s RBI single to left.

Gingell led off the bottom of the third with a single, stole second, then later crossed the plate Slezak’s RBI double.LOBS Baseball 2016 SC

Troy Bethany Christian again threatened with a pair of base runners in the fourth but could not convert.

Bethany Christian (15-6), which won titles in 2000 and 2010, finally spoiled the shutout in the sixth. After a pair of strikeouts, senior Jacob King singled and later scored on sophomore Logan King’s RBI double.

Logan King suffered the loss on the mound, giving up four runs with six strikeouts over seven innings.

“It feels great to beat them because we split with them in a league double-header and then they swept us later (in a non-league double header) and the second game was called because of darkness,” said Welby. “We were on top of our game this time. We didn’t commit a lot of errors, we got some (timely) hits and ginger had a great pitching performance from Ben Gingell. He’s transferring and we’ll miss him. We’ll enjoy this for now.

We’ll only lose two total players and we’ll bring back plenty of guys who can pitch,” continued Welby. “Hopefully we can make it back next season.”

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Category: Baseball, Featured Articles, High School, High School (M-Z), Lake Orion Baptist, Most Recently Updated Stories, NOS reference, Prep Wraps, Sport, Top Stories, Troy Bethany Christian, Uncategorized

About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com View author profile.

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