Division 1 Team Of The Week: Week 1 And 2 - Northville


Bruce Hefflinger and Dylan Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer and Editor in Chief/Scout

 

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Division 1 Team Of The Week: Week 1 And 2 - Northville

NORTHVILLE - A sweep of Hartland solidified Northville as a team to contend with in 2022. It also has the Mustangs being honored as the Prep Baseball Report Division I Team of the Week.

“I don’t think our guys were surprised we won,” noted head coach John Kostrzewa about the 7-3 and 1-0 wins over Hartland, which last season beat Northville twice. “We scored right after we got off the bus. I was really happy with how we came out and played defense collectively.”

Depth on the mound has stood out thus far for Kostrzewa, whose squad also defeated Ann Arbor Pioneer 8-1 last week after starting the season with 13-2 and 8-2 wins over Livonia Stevenson. On Monday, Northville moved to 6-0 with an 8-0 blanking of Walled Lake Northern.

“We’re throwing strikes and not walking guys,” Kostrzewa related. “We’re also playing good defense. When you pitch, play defense and throw strikes you have a chance of doing well.”

Thus far 10 different players have been on the mound according to the Northville coach, with sophomore Joey Broughton recorded the victory in the shutout over Hartland with eight strikeouts in his time on the mound, while Josh Planko picked up the win in the opener.

“Nobody has thrown a complete game up to now so having pitching depth has really helped,” Kostrzewa said.

Senior infielder Luke Brodde, the fifth-rated 2022 second baseman in Michigan, and junior Gabe Clark, the ninth-ranked 2023 catcher in the state, are among the standouts on a team featuring the top-ranked sophomore in the state in Donte Nori, who hit a home run against Walled Lake Northern.

“Each game we’re more comfortable offensively, barrelling balls,” Kostrzewa noted.

Northville, which split with Portage Northern and defeated Birch in spring break exhibition games in Florida, has an outstanding 2024 class led by Nori, a Mississippi State commit.

“With the amount of young guys that we have, seven sophomores, we’ll go through a learning curve, we just happen to be off to a good start,” pointed out Kostrzewa. “The team camaraderie as a whole is great. We were very close in the offseason and expect success. We’ve worked hard and steadfastly together.”

Pitching remains the area that Kostrzewa remains excited about.

“When you have that many guys that young throwing strikes, you can’t help but be impressed with that,” Kostrzewa explained. “To see it in games, and the maturity of our sophomores and the whole group how they all go about everything, it’s so enjoyable to witness. But we don’t want to let 6-0 go to our heads. They’ve earned the wins they’ve got, but you can’t take it for granted.

“Consistency will be the key to continuing the success,” added Kostrzewa, whose Mustangs play Howell today and Sterling Heights Stevenson on Saturday. “As the weather warms up, bats will warm up. Then we’ll see how our pitchers respond. Being able to maintain throwing strikes will be important. Seeing it early on gives optimism, though, with the way so many have contributed so far.”

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