Clinton Township Clintondale pitcher Seth Maisano readies to deliver during a March 23 game against Madison Heights Lamphere. The Dragons’ next game is against Warren Fitzgerald at 4:30 p.m. April 18 at home.

Clinton Township Clintondale pitcher Seth Maisano readies to deliver during a March 23 game against Madison Heights Lamphere. The Dragons’ next game is against Warren Fitzgerald at 4:30 p.m. April 18 at home.

Photos by Donna Agusti


New Clintondale baseball coach wants team to compete

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published April 12, 2018

 New Clintondale baseball coach Jason Machalak looks on during the game against Lamphere. Machalak previously coached the Dragons JV team for five years.

New Clintondale baseball coach Jason Machalak looks on during the game against Lamphere. Machalak previously coached the Dragons JV team for five years.

Photo by Donna Agusti

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — After five years as Clinton Township Clintondale’s JV baseball coach, Jason Machalak has moved on to lead the school’s varsity team.

He wants the squad to be a factor in the race for the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division title.

The Dragons’ last division title came in 2009. At press time, the team was 0-1 but hadn’t played a game in the division.

“Our pitchers need to throw strikes and batters need to have quality at-bats,” said Machalak, who takes over for Rob Townsend, who led the team for four years. “If we can do those things, I think we’ll be competitive.”

One area the team has focused on early is keeping an eye on its on-base percentage, Machalak said. The coach — who took over a team that went 9-13 last season — said good things happen when the team gets guys on base and players work hard to have quality at-bats.

Developing the bottom end of the team’s pitching rotation and lineup will also factor into the team’s success, Machalak said.

Defensively, catcher Kyle Zabel is a key. Machalak said he does a good job of keeping balls in front of him.

“That goes a long way in keeping guys off the bases in our division,” Machalak said.

Leading the charge of ending the Dragons’ division title drought are seniors Zach Simpson, Seth Maisano, Ben Lay and Derrick Appell, along with juniors Matt Yaworski and Zabel.

Machalak said his team has looked good early — it’s just that it’s hard to see how good a team looks when it’s working indoors.

“Like most teams, we’re eager to get outside with some warmer weather,” Machalak said. “It’s tough on your outfielders when you are stuck in the gym the first few weeks. But I couldn’t be happier with the effort level of the team, which is all we will ever ask of them.”

Clintondale’s next game is against Warren Fitzgerald at 4:30 p.m. April 18 at home.