Monday's preps: 'Big hits' elude Dakota baseball in loss

Connor Muldowney
The Detroit News

Scoring runs and capitalizing with runners on base continued to be an issue for Macomb Dakota as it fell to visiting Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, 2-1, Monday in a Macomb Area Conference Red Division baseball game.

Dakota (7-3, 3-1) has had a solid start to its season, but the inability to come up with clutch hits could be the difference between a few losses and a perfect record.

“We’ve got to start cashing in,” Dakota coach Matt Carley said. “We’ve got to start hitting the baseball. We’re two big hits a game away from being really good.”

Though Dakota didn’t fare well at the plate, scoring the game’s first run in the fourth inning before getting shut down the rest of the way, starting pitcher Alek Ljuljdjurovic kept his team in the game. He went six innings, allowing six hits and one earned run while striking out six.

“Alek is a competitor,” Carley said. “He’s a real competitive kid. He pitched his heart out today and he gave us every opportunity to win.”

Chippewa Valley scored both of its runs in the fifth inning, which proved to be all it needed.

Pitching has been a strength for Dakota this season, but Carley admitted if his team gets those big hits with runners on base, it’ll be tough to beat.

Outside of one mistake, Dakota has been playing consistent defense, something it has taken pride in early this season.

Dakota will get a chance at revenge against Chippewa Valley in a Wednesday road game.

Carley has a clear goal for his team in the rematch: “Hit the ball.”

More baseball

Sterling Heights Stevenson 12, Grosse Pointe South 2 (6 inn.): Garrett Navarra went six innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs while striking out nine for the win, Johnny Teolis hit a grand slam and Austin Owens knocked a two-run home run for Stevenson (4-6, 2-2 MAC Red). Conor McKenna hit a home run for South (10-1, 2-1).

More baseball scores

Dearborn 9, Garden City 2

Dearborn Edsel Ford 3, Belleville 2 (9 inn.)

Girls soccer scores

Dearborn Divine Child 8, Dearborn Fordson 0

Dearborn Henry Ford Academy 3, Detroit Western International 0

Detroit Country Day 6, Birmingham Groves 1

Softball scores

Center Line 19, Hazel Park 4 (4 inn.)

Garden City 11, Dearborn 1 (5 inn.)

Harper Woods 22, Hope of Detroit 6 (5 inn.)

West Bloomfield 15, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest 3 (5 inn.)

Connor Muldowney is a freelance writer.