Division 1 Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Northville

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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Division 1 Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Northville

NORTHVILLE - Three shutouts in four games has Northville riding high as the top-rated team in the state.

Now 19-1 on the year, the Mustangs are also the Prep Baseball Report Division 1 Team of the Week.

“We’re finding a way to win when things are not going well offensively,” noted head coach John Kostrzewa. “The depth of our pitching staff has been able to keep us in games when our offense isn’t clicking. If you play good defense and pitch, you can stay in games even against good pitchers.”

That was the case last week when Northville edged Novi 4-3 on Monday and 1-0 on Wednesday.

“It was all about the pitching on both teams,” Kostrzewa said in reference to the two wins against a team ranked 14th in the state in Division 1.

Joey Broughton and Justin Brown combined in one game with Dominic Minghine and Caden Besco teaming up in the other victory.

The Mustangs capped off the week with a pair of shutouts versus Lake Orion on Saturday, 3-0 and 10-0. Evan Deak gave up one hit in six innings with nine Ks in the opener and Minghine threw the nightcap allowing two hits in six frames with three strikeouts against the 12th-rated team in Michigan’s Power 25 ratings.

Deak drove in four runs and Broughton two in the second game with two hits apiece while juniors Luke Dieringer and Connor Vissotski also had a pair of hits each.

For the season, Broughton is batting .403 with four home runs and 27 RBIs playing first base when not pitching. Deak, a left-fielder and pitcher, has a .367 batting average while center fielder Danti Nori, a Mississippi State commit, is hitting .333 with six triples and 29 runs scored. Right fielder Carter Jursicin and Dieringer, the 13th-rated 2024 third baseman in Michigan, also carry .333 averages.

But it is on the mound where the Mustangs have shined. Broughton, the second-ranked 2024 left-handed pitcher in Michigan who is committed to Pittsburgh, is 5-0 with a 0.81 ERA while the junior trio of Minghine, Deak and Brown, a Michigan recruit, are all 3-0. Minghine has a 0.45 ERA and Deak 0.77 for a team many are looking at as the team to beat in Michigan.

“It’s nothing we’re not accustomed to,” Kostrzewa said of a target on the back of his squad, currently the number one rated team in the state in the PBR Power 25. “As a group, that’s the expectation. It’s what you strive for. They expected it coming off a successful season with so many sophomores, so it’s not a surprise.”

Now riding an 11-game winning streak after a 13-0 win over Plymouth on Monday, Northville has another contest against Plymouth on Wednesday before facing Livonia Stevenson on Thursday and Grand Ledge on Friday. The lone defeat to date was 10-8 against Sterling Heights Stevenson in a game the Mustangs led 8-0 in the fifth.

“That happening was a good thing,” Kostrzewa explained. “We learned a lot from it. You’ve got to play the game and not the score.”

The 19th-year head mentor is hoping that lesson pays dividends down the stretch as his squad looks to make another long tournament run. 

“Consistency on offense,” Kostrzewa pointed to as an area of importance the rest of the way. “Getting hot at the right time will be a big part of it, and the defense continuing to improve. As the weather gets better in May and June there will be a lot more balls put in play so there will be a premium on making the routine plays. Situational hitting will also be important when we get to the big games down the road.”