Prep Baseball Report

Division 2 Team Of The Week: 3rd Edition - Southgate Anderson

Bruce Hefflinger
Michigan Senior Writer

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Division 2 Team Of The Week: 3rd Edition - Southgate Anderson

SOUTHGATE - It has been a surprising year two for Southgate Anderson head coach Andy Green, who took over the program last year after a 10-year absence from the coaching ranks.

“I thought we would compete and be in the top half of the division but not undefeated at this point,” admitted Green, whose team is currently 11-2 on the season following a 6-3 victory over Taylor, a 6-2 win over Woodhaven and a 3-2 triumph over Lincoln Park to earn recognition as the Prep Baseball Division 2 Team of the Week. “There are some really good teams in this league, Woodhaven, Trenton and Allen Park. We play hard and compete and, win or lose, that is what I expect from them.”

Freshman Memphis Davenport and junior Logan Lynn had big two-out hits in the Woodhaven game while Jace Walerski had an important two-out single against Allen Park.

On the mound, Juan Llanes picked up his second win of the season in as many decisions with a victory over Allen Park, the 22nd-rated D-1 team in the state. The junior has a 1.92 ERA with one save for Southgate Anderson, the third-ranked D-3 squad in Michigan.

Dylan Berrios, the 26th-rated senior outfielder in Michigan, is the staff ace. The Jackson CC commit is 3-1 with a 2.51 ERA.

Four underclassmen are leading the way at the plate. Llanes, a shortstop when not pitching, is batting .432 with five doubles; utility player Thomas Laskowski, the 194th-ranked junior in the state, is hitting .412 with four doubles; catcher Rico Valdovinos, the 14th-rated sophomore in Michigan, has six doubles; and Davenport has a .400 batting average.

“I knew we would have a younger team in some spots, but they’ve stepped it up earlier than I expected so far,” Green noted.

It is far from easy, however, according to Green.

“We have played Detroit Western and New Boston Huron, but we still have to play Escanaba, Gladstone, Novi and West Bloomfield plus the big three again in the league,” Green pointed out.

Now 9-0 in the Downriver League after a win over Wyandotte on Monday, the Titans play Carlson on Wednesday, then head to the Upper Peninsula for a DH versus Gladstone and a DH with Escanaba.

“We need to compete hard every inning,” explained Green. “We cannot just roll out our gloves and think we will win. We need to take quality at-bats, do the little things, and continue to get good pitching and play solid defense, using fundamentals.”

A 15-year head coach at Cabrini and Lincoln Park before not coaching 10 years, Green returned to the dugout last year.

“This is my second season back after 10 years off and I think it is important to give credit to former coach Mark Davis, who developed many of these players when they were really young and took some lumps a few years to prepare them for now,” concluded Green. “His job and family took precedent when he left but he set the foundation for Southgate.”

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