Source: Sherman Publications

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The Varisty Nine are lining up another successful year

April 04, 2012

Nick Vogelmeier hurls another pitch. The junior will be one of the starting pitchers. Photo by G. Ouzounian
By Gabriel Ouzounian

Review Staff Writer

The Lake Orion Baseball team is just getting started in their 2012 season, but while Head Coach Andy Schramek believes judging the team's skill is difficult, he said he thinks the team will probably be all right.

"It's hard to say, but we're happy with our talent, work ethic and our returning seniors," he said. "There's a lot to like, but we haven't played a game yet. It has a chance to be a great team by comparison to older ones, but the great ones are the ones that walk away with trophies."

Only two seniors remain from 2011, with five graduating and three 2011 juniors moving on from the baseball team. Despite the light number of upperclassmen, the baseball team's staff sees a lot of potential in the team, including their pitchers, three of which maintain top rotation.

As far as leadership, the senior's have taken up their expected duties as roll models.

"We have several guys who are providing a good example, but our two seniors have done a great job in terms of leadership," said Schramek. "Still, we have several juniors who have done enough to make them seem like captains."

Other mentioned returners are junior Nick Vogelmeier, who plays a dynamic shortstop, junior Nick Deeg who has become a top prospect as a pitcher in Michigan, sophomore Brad Schaenzer who will have an opportunity to play after spending most of 2011 hurt and junior Roman Kuster returning as catcher. The remaining team members are seniors Dalton Oveson, Jake Gardner, juniors Ryan Lambert, Brandon Clemenes, Nolan Page, Zach Maresh, Derek Delaura and sophomores Conner Grant, Josh Bays, Travis Shufflin and Dan Hunter.

This group of "baseball junkies" are also having an easier time practicing thanks to the warmer weather, which last year proved too cold and too wet. Schramek was quick to point out this would likely be the case for all the other teams as well, but added his team has worked hard in the off season.

"Whether they played another sport or came to our conditioning, I'm proud of how much work they put in," said Schramek. "I don't like to get caught up in scouting reports because so much of what happens is based on match-ups. A pitcher that usually pitches may not pitch against us so basically if we do what we're supposed to do we'll give ourselves a good chance to win."

Last year the team was 25-7 before getting knocked out in the first game of the playoffs. This year, the team started it's season on April 2 with a game against Almont at 11 a.m. and another against Bishop Foley (first ranked in division three) at 3:30 p.m., both at Lake Orion High School.