June 9, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Baseball picks: Trenton looks to revive fortunes in quarterfinals

Trenton — High school’s version of Hockeytown also has a fine baseball tradition.

Trenton has won 14 hockey state championships and Mike Turner, who retired as head coach after this past season after winning his 11th, has won more games (629) than any other coach in state history.

Its baseball team won its first regional title since 2001 on Saturday as Trenton (34-6) defeated Hamtramck, 12-0, in a Division 2 semifinal and South Lyon East, 5-3, in the final at Ford Field in Livonia.

Trenton will play Richmond (33-3), a Division 2 finalist from a year ago, in a quarterfinal at 4 p.m. today at the University of Michigan.

Trenton lost in the semifinals in ’01 and in 1994 won its only state (Class B) title behind the pitching of J.J. Putz, who’s pitched in the major leagues since 2003. He’s now with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Putz was named Mr. Baseball his senior season (’95) before playing for Michigan.

Two other Trenton graduates are pitching in the major leagues. Matt Shoemaker (’04 graduate) is 3-1 as a starting pitcher with the Los Angeles Angels this season and Anthony Bass (’05 graduate) is 1-0 as a reliever this season with the Houston Astros.

Coach Todd Szalka is in his seventh season as Trenton’s coach. Szalka’s father, Gary, coached 37 seasons at Melvindale and won 648 games, but he never won a regional title.

Kyle Kasenow threw a five-inning no-hitter against Hamtramck and Grant Dukus went five innings to earn the victory in the final. Jerald Lavell (six saves) earned the save and had a two-run single.

“Our kids play for each other,” Szalka said. “We have no egos and we hit one through nine. We have 10 guys with 20 or more hits and that makes us tough to pitch around.”

Pick: Richmond.


Division 1

■Saline vs. Battle Creek Lakeview at U-M, 6: Pick: Saline

■Grosse Pointe South vs. Sterling Heights Stevenson at Wayne State, 4: Stevenson is 3-0 against South this season, winning 14-4, 6-1 and 6-0. Make that 4-0. Stevenson

■Clarkston vs. Brighton at Novi, 4:30: Clarkston has won 18 of its last 20. Both teams have good pitching depth. Clarkston has more experience in that area. Clarkston.

■Bay City Western vs. Jenison at Central Michigan, 1: Western

Division 2

DeWitt vs. East Grand Rapids at Davenport University, 5: E. Grand Rapids

Gladwin vs. Mount Pleasant at Central Michigan, 4: Mount Pleasant

Battle Creek Harper Creek vs. Richland Gull Lake at Battle Creek Bailey Park, 4: Gull Lake

Division 3

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett vs. Clinton at Chelsea, 3: Pitching and defense have carried University Liggett this far. Expect more of the same here. University Liggett

Pinconning vs. Reese at Saginaw Valley State, 2: Pinconning

Decatur vs. Olivet at Hope College, 4: Olivet

Gladstone vs. Muskegon Oakridge at Traverse City West, noon: Oakridge

Division 4

Beal City vs. Bay City All Saints at Saginaw Valley State, 11 a.m.: Beal City

Kalamazoo Christian vs. Britton Deerfield at Battle Creek Bailey Park, 1:30: Christian

New Lothrop vs. Sterling Heights Parkway Christian at Brighton, 5: New Lothrop has given up three runs in four tournament games. Christian has allowed four in its four games. New Lothrop

Norway vs. Maple City Glen Lake at Traverse City West, 3: Glen Lake