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March 22, 2013

Clintondale baseball coach expects elder statesmen to lead Dragons

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Clintondale baseball coach expects elder statesmen to lead Dragons
The Clinton Township Clintondale baseball team next hits the field for a battle with Warren Fitzgerald, set for 4:15 p.m. March 27 at Fitzgerald. Pictured is Dragons senior pitcher Jacob Roy during a game last season at Center Line.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP— The Clinton Township Clintondale baseball team has finished in the top three in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze division every year since 2008, including capturing a league title in 2009.

In order for that run to continue, Dragons coach Dave Schindler said his seniors will need to step up and lead the team.

“(The seniors) should be the strength of the team,” said Schindler, in his second year as head coach after spending 16 years as an assistant.

“They all played last year and competed for a (league championship).”

Clintondale — which hadn’t played a game at press time — fell one game short of a MAC Bronze title last season, finishing 7-3 in league play. St. Clair Shores South Lake went 8-2 to win the Bronze. Four teams finished within 2.5 games of first place.

Schindler, who also coaches the Dragons’ football team, said the Bronze is a very balanced league — one that any team can win.

“We’ve been lucky enough to be at the top,” said Schindler, whose team went 9-12 overall last year and saw its season end in a 2012 Michigan High School Athletic Association district semifinal loss to Richmond.

“If we pitch and play good defense, we can win the league this year.”

Schindler said he’s looking at senior pitcher/shortstop Jacob Babbitt, senior pitcher/shortstop Jacob Roy, catcher Richard Jaczen and second baseman Pat Moss to lead the team. Each of those players saw time last year, as the Dragons battled for a league title.

Schindler added defense and having quality at-bats will be a work in progress this season —  the same things Schindler stressed last season.

“The Bronze will be very competitive this year.” Schindler said. “... We expect to compete for the league championship.”

Clintondale next hits the diamond for a matchup against Warren Fitzgerald, set for 4:15 March 27 at Fitzgerald.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.