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Beal City clinches 14th consecutive Highland Conference title with sweep over Lake City WITH GALLERY

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Beal City continued its dominance in Highland Conference play Tuesday afternoon, winning a 14th consecutive conference championship.

The Aggies clinched the conference title at home with a 6-2 win in the opener of a doubleheader versus Lake City, while they were even more impressive in game two with a 13-0 five-inning victory.

With the two wins, Beal City moved its win streak to 12 games and the overall record to 19-9. The Aggies complete the conference season with a perfect 12-0 mark.

“We lost our first seven games and won our next seven,” first-year Beal City head coach Steve Pickens said. “After losing our next two after that, we haven't lost since. The guys have been playing some really good baseball lately and that continued today. Our pitchers threw strikes and we put the bat on the ball.”

Pickens inherited the varsity programs after former head coach Brad Antcliff opted to step down in 2016 after a stellar 10-year run at the helm. Antliff led the Aggies to 10 straight conference titles, four state finals appearances and two state championships.

When the opportunity became possible, Pickens knew it was something he could not pass up.

“I enjoy working with the kids,” Pickens said. “I was coaching girls basketball here for many years and I've coached baseball for 20-some years at different levels. I'd never been a varsity head coach, so I thought I'd give it a try. Beal City has a pretty good tradition in baseball and it was an easy decision.”

Thomas McCann was 3-for-4 with three runs in the opener, while Kyle Yuncker went 2-for-3 with two runs. Keegan Haynes contributed a hit and a run, while he also allowed two runs over seven innings to pick up the win on the mound.

McCann finished 2-for-4 in the nightcap and scored three runs. He also pitched five scoreless innings to register the win.

Yuncker was hit by a pitch and walked twice, scoring two runs. Ryan Schafer, Nate Wilson and Ryan Powell all had a hit and scored a run. Kollin Sharrar was 2-for-4 and scored two runs, while Aaron Schafer added two hits and scored two runs.

“We have three sophomore starters and have two senior starters or three at most,” Pickens added. “We're a team with some inexperience and plenty to build on. We're getting there and it's easy to see we're playing better baseball the last several weeks, but there's a lot of room to grow.”

Last Updated: 5/23/2017 10:39:21 PM EST