BASEBALL: Model of consistency, Lake Orion rolls to 11th district championship

| June 7, 2022 | Comments (0)




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OXFORD – Since taking the reigns of the Lake Orion baseball program in 1999, Andy Schramek has helped the Dragons to become a model of consistency in every meaning of the word.

In 20 of the 24 seasons under Schramek and his staff, Lake Orion has won at least a league or district crown and in some seasons – both titles.

This year is no exception.

After finishing in the runner-up slot of the OAA Red Division standings to fellow state-ranked Rochester Adams, eighth-ranked Lake Orion captured its 11th district crown in school history Saturday at Oxford. The Dragons cruised past Waterford Mott (11-1) in the semifinals, then put the finishing touches on the district crown with a lopsided victory over the host Wildcats (16-3) in the finals.

It marked Lake Orion’s first district championship since 2017.

“We were just talking about this the other day and we figured out that we have won at least one championship in all but four seasons,” said Schramek. “We’ve won several league and districts since I became the varsity coach and even a few regionals.”

Five regionals to be exact. The Dragons’ shining moment in time came in 2007 when the program captured the Division 1 state title as well. Lake Orion won regional titles and played in the quarterfinals in 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, and 2013.

A total of 10 district titles have come under Schramek and Co., including this year’s convincing performance. In the district finals, the Dragons’ balanced offense was paced by junior Connor McCarten, who finished 2-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored in the victory over Oxford.

Senior Evan Waters pitched six strong innings from the bump, scattering six hits, two earned runs, nine strikeouts and just three walks.

Pitching is the name of the game for Lake Orion. The Dragons have used 11 pitchers this season, although one has been limited due to injury. Waters, senior Carson Kotch, senior Matthew Whitefoot and junior Casey Robinson have formed a solid starting rotation and have seen plenty of innings in the OAA Red Division and postseason games.

Senior Tony Grazioli has served as a steady catcher behind the plate, and senior Ryan Stimac has been a key leader in right field and at the plate for the Dragons.

Robinson has averaged nearly an RBI a game for Lake Orion (28-9), who will face Rochester Adams Wednesday in the D-1 regional semifinals at Rochester (4 p.m.). Senior Cooper Villareal (1B/P), junior Ryan McCarten (SS), junior Joey Bruno (2B, .385 average) and senior Jack Wellman (CF) have all been key contributors this season for Lake Orion, which features eight seniors, seven juniors and four sophomores on a 19-man roster.

“It comes down to having talented players every year and we’ve had a lot of very good players,” noted Schramek, who has seen six former players reach the minor leagues at various levels. He has coached legions of all-league, all-district, all-region and all-state players and observed dozens of players that worked their way onto college rosters.

“We’ve had over 20 All-State players over the years, including first-team, second-team or Dream Team, which is a lot for baseball,” offered Schramek. “We could have some this year, too. We’ve had some guys that have had some great seasons.”



2000: District champs, regional champs, state quarterfinalist

2002: District champs, regional champs, state quarterfinalist

2003: District champs, regional finalist

2004: District champs, regional semifinalist

2006: District champs, regional champs, state quarterfinalist

2007: District champs, regional champs, Final Four, Division 1 state champions

2012: District champs, regional finalists

2013: District champs, regional champs, state quarterfinalist

2017: District champs, regional semifinalist

2022: District champs, regional TBD


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