The way Brighton baseball coach Charlie Christner sees it, his team is thisclose to being in first place in the KLAA West.
“We’re two runs away from being in first,” he said Tuesday night. “We lost in extra innings to Howell (9-8 in 11) and Hartland (1-0 in 18). If we’d won those games. …”
Instead, the Bulldogs (8-5-1 overall, 6-3-1 West) find themselves trying to keep pace with Howell and Hartland. Their doubleheader with Milford scheduled for Wednesday was rained out and rescheduled for Thursday. It will be broadcast on The Livingston Post.
Brighton has won three in a row since getting swept by Hartland in a doubleheader last week. It started with a sweep of Holly on Saturday. It is part of a busy May for the Bulldogs, who are scheduled to play 20 games this month.
“Over the course of the last week, we saw some pitchers who have done a really good job who weren’t sure about,” Christner said. “We’re starting to gain depth on the pitching staff, and that will benefit us.”
Sophomore lefty Cameron Tullar, who missed most of last week due to an injury to his non-pitching shoulder, is back as well.
Christner said he had a team meeting after the 18-inning loss to Hartland.
“I told them how we were two runs away from being in first, and it was something they hadn’t thought about,” he said. “I’ve said this a few times: We’re playing better than you’d expect from a team that lost nine seniors last year.”
Part of that, Christner said, is due to his coaching staff, which includes his father Dan, the JV coach, and freshman coach Mike Griest.
“Our kids play a lot in the summer and they play together,” Christner said. “We get really good players who are ready to play. They’re not in shock or in awe of much when they get here. That’s a huge advantage, because we can work with more advanced things when they get here.”
And while Brighton’s chances of repeating as West champions are slim at the moment, Christner remains upbeat.
“We’ve lost to three really good teams,” he said. “I don’t think Howell, Hartland and Northville are going to lose to a lot of teams. We’ve played them all tough. We’re 8-5 and moving in the right direction, for sure.”