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Team of the Week: Jackson Lumen Christi baseball wins Cardinal Division Championship

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – The Jackson Lumen Christi baseball team is our 6 Sports Team of the Week after the Titans earned shutout wins over Dearborn Divine Child and Marine City Cardinal Mooney to win the CHSL Cardinal Division Championship.

The Titans defeated Divine Child 1-0 in the semifinals before topping Cardinal Mooney 5-0 in the championship game.

Senior Gabe King pitched both shutouts and allowed just one hit with 12 strikeouts in the championship game against Cardinal Mooney.

“He just did a great job, phenomenal,” said head coach Phil Clifford. “He pounds the zone. He change speeds, mixes pitches and keeps hitters off balance so he did a really good job. He threw a complete game against Divine Child in 52 pitches, and then [against Mooney] I think he was around 60 [pitches].”

Jackson Lumen Christi is in its first year in the Catholic League, which has a unique rule in which every batter starts with a 1-1 count.

Clifford said that rule helps King and the other pitchers keep their pitch counts down, but it took the offense a little while to get used to the rule. He feels his team is finding its stride at the right time with it now.

“You have to change your approach at the plate,” he said. “You have to get in the box and you’ve got to be really ready to go and aggressive. You don’t want to get two strikes on you after that first pitch. So you have to change your mindset and it took us a few games to kind of work that out but once we worked it out it was good, and the competition [in the league] is really good.”

“It’s a tough league, especially first year, it was definitely a new challenge for us,” added King. “But seeing what we were able to do and being able to overcome some difficulties, it shows a lot about our team.”

The Titans had five players earn individual honors from the Catholic League. King and Brodie Gregory were All-Catholic selections, Nathan Hinkley and Kash Kalahar earned All-League honors, and Blake Hetherington was All-Academic in the Catholic League.

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