We haven't even made it to Saturday's district semi-finals yet and Oakland County is already burning up with upset fever. Congrats to the baseball teams at Walled Lake Northern and Troy Athens, who both pulled major upset specials in its pre-districts on Tuesday and probably each knocked off the prohibitive favorite in their respective districts draws. Northern, a big time sleeper all year in my book, defeated a stacked Lakeland squad 8-3 behind some masterful mound presence from starting hurler Danny Turcell and some pop from the bat of hot hitting Dane Saylor. Some people had Lakeland winning the whole thing behind dominating arm and swing of Michigan-bound Ricky Samuel. Turcell and fellow ace Andy Tinkey (2-3 with 2 RBI), who did his damage tuesday behind the plate, made certain that didn't happen and now live to fight another day.
A few hours after the Knights threw a wrench into everyone's tourney brackets, Troy Athens followed suit, taking down crosstown foe Troy - a team that made it all the way to the final four in Battle Creek last season - 8-4. Sophomore pitcher Alex Harrison weaved a beauty from the rubber, while classmate Jake Duzey, continued to make a name for himself from the batter's box at the Varsity level by going 2-3 with 3 RBI on the day. A lot of prep prognosticators, including myself, thought Troy, although struggling to find its footing in the regular season and finishing up just above the .500 mark at 18-14, was going to make some noise in the state tou rnament. Unfortunately for head coach, Frank De Vito, it just wasn't meant to be.