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May 28, 2013

East Detroit baseball preps for talented North district

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
The East Detroit High baseball team finished third in the MAC Silver this season after finishing fifth in 2012. Pictured is Shamrocks coach Jim Brandon, right, and senior pitcher/third baseman Jimmie Lewis May 18.

The East Detroit High baseball team will play in a 2013 Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 District tournament with Grosse Pointe North, Grosse Pointe South and St. Clair Shores Lakeview.

The Shamrocks’ district semi against St. Clair Shores Lakeview will take place at 10 a.m. June 1 at Grosse Pointe North, with the winner moving on to face either North or South in a district final.

So what does East Detroit coach Jim Brandon think his team needs to do to advance in the state tournament?

“We need to show up and play seven innings of good baseball, and handle Lakeview and hope that (North and South) play each other as tough as they always do,” said Brandon, in his second year with the Shamrocks.

“We’ll be ready for either team if we happen to see one of them in the final.”

Brandon, whose team sat at 10-12, 5-5 Macomb Area Conference Silver Division at press time, said he knows each of the teams in the D-1 district are always well-coached and provide strong competition. He said playing teams such as Lakeview, North and South raises the level of play of the East Detroit players “because they want to play the best they can against the best.”

East Detroit is riding a bit of a hot streak, having won seven of 11 at press time. Brandon said that success is due in part to the Shamrocks finding their consistency. He said he’s shuffled the lineup and found a good one-through-six power order that has produced.

Brandon said in order for that success to continue, the Shamrocks must stay focused and continue to make smart plays in the field. He said the pitching is strong and the team currently isn’t dealing with any injuries.

Brandon added senior utility player Zach Nevedal (hitting .604 at press time) needs to continue to lead the team. Brandon said senior pitchers John Brandon and Tyler Grabowski have turned in solid performances on the hill, while senior No. 1 pitcher Jimmie Lewis, a four-year varsity player, remains solid.

“We’ll be going with what’s working,” Brandon said, “but we won’t hesitate to mix it up if it means getting to the next round (of the playoffs).”

Other local teams set for playoff action
The East Detroit High softball team will play St. Clair Shores Lakeview in a 2013 MHSAA D-1 district semifinal slated for 12:30 p.m. June 1 at Grosse Pointe South. The winner faces either South or Grosse Pointe North in a district final.

The Roseville High baseball and softball teams both square off against Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse in district semis set for June 1. The baseball team plays at 10 a.m., with the softball team playing at 12:30 p.m. Both games will be played at Warren Woods Tower. The winner will meet either Tower or St. Clair Shores Lake Shore in a D-1 district final.

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