Lake Michigan Catholic proving size doesn't matter on the diamond
ST. JOSEPH, Mich. - It doesn't matter how big or small the school happens to be. If you ask the Lake Michigan Catholic baseball team, the only thing that matters is the play on the diamond.
So far, it's been a spring full of winning for the Lakers in St. Joe, especially in the past couple of weeks as the Division 4 state tournament has rolled on.
LMC will play in Friday's state semifinals at Michigan State, with first pitch against Unionville Sebewaing scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
But it's no surprise they're at this stage.
“We started the year, and out of the gate, they got t-shirts and on the front it said ‘This is our year’ and on the back it said ‘Laker Baseball. Get it done,'" said Lakers coach Dale Beeney.
Last season, the Lakers were within reach of a state title, but fell just short in the quarterfinals. Since then, they've used that motivation each time they've hit the field.
"We hit the ball well, but it was just baseball that day," Beeney said of that quarterfinal loss. "We should have been there, so the motivation was already there. It was just a matter of coming out every day, the seniors pushing everybody and it worked out. The hard work paid off for the kids.”
That class of six seniors has come a long way.
In Beeney's three seasons at the helm, the Lakers are 81-14 and he gives much of the credit to that core.
"I'm glad they're getting recognized. They've worked hard and pushed each other. They're savvy in baseball and always wanted to learn more."
Now, that senior class is one step away from a chance to leave a lasting legacy with a state title.
If LMC can beat Sebewaing on Friday, they'll have a quick turnaround to play for a state championship on Saturday against the winner of Gaylord St. Mary and Beal City.