By Brodee Gillam
After the past two seasons of excellence, expecting LCC's baseball team to continue that trend was easy. But, as mentioned all season, the beginning of this season was anything but easy.
Despite that, the Stars have not missed a step.
After sweeping Schoolcraft in the doubleheader on April 2, LCC was 8-0 in conference play. The first game ended 9-2 and the second 7-4.
Just looking at the scores, the wins seem decisive. But the Stars found their stride late in the game, scoring five runs in the sixth inning of both contests.
Early in the games, LCC Baseball Head Coach Jordan Keur said, the Stars often had runners in scoring position but did not take advantage.
"Credit to them for making plays when they needed to," Keur said. "Couple of double-plays got (Schoolcraft) out of the innings. But I think … our approach changed and we talked about that. Keeping the same approach, whether there is guys on base versus nobody on base … that's got to stay the same.
"Toward the end of the game we put some good at-bats together. (We) had a couple home runs that really picked us up."
Keur said he is proud of the way the team rebounded from being down early in both games.
"Credit these guys. I was proud of these guys for how they battled," Keur said. "They stayed (focused). They didn't panic when they got down and that's the sign of a good team."
LCC's offense has been well-rounded all season and it showed again against the Ocelots.
In the second half of the doubleheader, two other Stars stepped up. The team was led by freshmen Cameron Hart and Craig Palidar. Hart and Palidar both hit home runs, with Hart scoring two runs and adding a double. Palidar finished with two RBIs.
LCC has taken to Keur's aggressive coaching style and it is translating into success for the Stars.
"I've been really happy with how we're running the bases," Keur said. "Not only just stealing bases, but how were running bases and putting pressure on the (pitchers). That's something we've been really hitting home on is putting pressure on the other team; forcing them to make plays.
"It's evident with our play and how we run the bases. (We're) preaching aggressiveness. I'm never going to be mad at guys getting thrown out for being too aggressive."
The Stars were scheduled to play April 5 at home, and on the road April 6, against Macomb CC. LCC's next home doubleheader is Friday, April 12 against Jackson College. The first game starts at 2 p.m. at Westside Park.