Wed May 23, 2012
Tues May 22, 2012
By Mike Penn
A lot was at stake on Tuesday when Clarkston visited Lake Orion with the OAA Red title on the line. Clarkston had the opportunity to share the league title with a sweep of Lake Orion, but first they had to get through Lake Orion's top two pitchers: Brad Schaenzer and Nick Deeg. Similarly, Lake Orion was looking for an outright championship with a sweep.
Schaezner and Deeg are not only the Dragons top arms, but they both happen to be two of the top arms in their class, not to mention the state. It is a recruiter's dream to go and see guys like this and they were not disappointing.
Game one sent Brad Schaenzer, class of 2014, to the mound for Lake Orion. Alex Peck, also class of 2014, toed the rubber for Clarkston. Clarkston hung tough the first two innings but the Dragons of Lake Orion struck in the bottom of the third, scoring five runs off starter Alex Peck.
Schaezner was impressive as he used three pitches for strikes to keep hitters off balance. His fastball on this day ranged from 82-84 and touched 86 MPH, although it has been reported that he has been up to 89 MPH in the past. Additionally, he controlled his breaking ball extremely well being able to throw it in all counts.
Other top performers for the Dragons were Ryan Lambrecht, who collected two hits and two RBI, and Deeg and Roman Kuster each added two hits of their own in the first game.
Clarkston was able to hang tough and make it close in game two. Clarkston came out swinging and used some timely hitting to keep things tight late in the game. In the sixth, a lead off double to right-center field from Clarkston's Nick Mazzone started things off. After Jake Forsten moved Mazzone over to third on a sacrifice bunt, unsigned senior Dylan Peck came to the plate. Peck delivered a game tying sacrifice fly to center field off an 86 MPH fastball, knotting the score at two apiece.
Lake Orion quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning with two runs of their own and then handed the ball to Deeg to finish the game. Deeg, a 6-foot-5 lefty, who remains unsigned as a junior, finished his night with ten strike outs and only one walk.
Clarkston may have lost both games yesterday but for a young team to face two tough pitchers and a strong overall Lake Orion team, they showed true grit. They certainly will continue to get better in years to come.