Baseball

Published May 9, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — Is his team as good as the one that started the year 7-1 or as out of sorts as the one that’s gone 1-7 since then?

That was the question asked to Birmingham Seaholm baseball coach John Toth last week.

He thought for a minute, but his confidence was unmistakable.

“I think we’re as good as our start would suggest,” Toth said. “What it comes down to is playing defense. If we play defense, I feel we can beat just about anyone.”

The Maples certainly were the first few weeks of the season.

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Published May 9, 2016

One coach is still learning about the rivalry, while the other grew up on it, played in it and is set to manage in it for the first time.

Berkley High and Ferndale High have been natural rivals for decades, and the one-and-only shot the two schools’ baseball teams have at one another this year is set for 4:30 p.m. May 16 at Ferndale.

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Published May 9, 2016

Eisenhower High School will hold a four-day summer baseball camp for players in grades 1-12 from June 20 through June 23.

The camp will be directed by Eisenhower head coach Jason Gendrau in conjunction with the U.S. Baseball Academy.

Sessions will be offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and baselining.

Groups will be limited to six players per coach, so early registration is recommended. Registration is now open. 

For more information, visit www.USBaseballAcademy.com or call (866) 622-4487.

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Published May 4, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — The field remained soggy, the result of another night of rain and day of clouds.

Nothing new for the Southfield Christian baseball team — or many others — this spring.

But the Eagles knew practicing outside May 2 was imperative to a season that needs to find an upswing.

And that upswing has to come from a defense that finds ways to improve.

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Published May 3, 2016

ROCHESTER — Any coach, in just about any sport, will preach the benefits of having a senior-laden roster constructed with experience and talent.

Eric Magiera will have the chance to do just that — in 2017.

“What we’ve got going on here right now is pretty great,” the Rochester High baseball coach said of his 2016 squad. “Really, over the past few years, we’ve been able to get the growing pains out of the way. And now, with this group, we plan on being very good for the next two years.”

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Published May 3, 2016

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The evolution of Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s baseball program will continue, as head coach Dan Cimini announced that his team will make the jump from Division 3 to Division 1 beginning in the 2017 season. 

Cimini, who is also the athletic director at Liggett Middle School, also announced that all of Liggett’s sporting teams will be joining the Catholic League in the fall of 2017.

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Published May 3, 2016

BERKLEY — It wasn’t long ago that he wore the same colors, took the very same field for this very same team.

Matt Rawlik is a 2004 grad of Berkley High and, as he explained, a proud alumnus of the school’s baseball program.

Some 12 years after representing the Bears as a player, he’s back in the dugout, back at the field, back in the middle of it all — this time as coach.

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Published May 3, 2016

FRASER — Fraser High baseball is coming off of what was a historic 2015 campaign, as the program won its first league championship in what head coach Dave Kuppe said was 25 years.

But after losing 11 seniors from that championship team and taking the field with a young squad, Kuppe described Fraser’s season, at least thus far, as “up and down.”

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Published April 28, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — With rain and cold in the rearview mirror, for the most part, Eric Pierce said this is the time of the season he most looks forward to.

The West Bloomfield High baseball coach spoke last week about the start of May, the divisional races heating up, and his team coming into its own.

And there’s no time like the present for that to happen.

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Published April 27, 2016

C&G Newspapers

CLAWSON — Ward was the word for Center Line High baseball in its 1-0 win over Clawson High on April 27.

Jared Ward, that is.

Ward, a senior, struck out seven and pitched a shutout en route to the Panthers’ win over the Trojans, who were in first place in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division entering the April 27 contest.

Center Line coach Rob Conti said he wasn’t surprised by Ward’s performance, but was extremely impressed. 

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Published April 26, 2016

FERNDALE — The lineup was expected to produce runs, from the first spot to the ninth.

And as Jamie Glinz spoke about briefly before an April 18 game at Ferndale High, the Southfield High baseball skipper couldn’t help but smile.

“First time since I started coaching here I could say that,” he explained of his starting nine that day. “To have all nine guys capable of going out and hitting, it’s pretty nice.”

By the end of the afternoon, Glinz and his Blue Jays had made quick work of Ferndale, winning 13-3 in a mercy.

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Published April 26, 2016

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — The triple-decker of rivalries on the baseball diamond officially began earlier this week.

But it will last for a while.

On April 25, Farmington High and North Farmington began their three-game series in Oakland Activities Association White Division play.

The city rivals will conclude the set at 4 p.m. April 28 at North Farmington.

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Published April 26, 2016

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A new independent professional baseball league based in Utica has announced it will hold open tryouts as one way to find players for its inaugural season.

The United Shore Professional Baseball League will host a tryout May 16-19 in Auburn Hills at Evolution SportsPlex.

The first day of tryouts will include batting with infield and outfield practice. Player evaluation drills will follow on May 17, and the final two days of tryouts will consist of situational baseball and live games.

Players must be between 18 and 26 years old.

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Published April 25, 2016

BEVERLY HILLS — There was an adjustment period needed, even if the byproduct would be a team that struggled out of the gate.

And struggle the Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day baseball team certainly did to start the spring of 2015 under first-year coach Steve Lepkowski.

In the Yellowjackets’ first 11 games last year, their record stood at a paltry 2-9. 

Then something clicked.

“Not even sure what it was,” Lepkowski said with a laugh last week.

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Published April 25, 2016

FERNDALE — There will be ups and downs over the course of a baseball season, especially as teams try to catch up after so much practice time was relegated to gymnasiums and batting cages.

But on a perfectly warm and sunny Monday afternoon, Chris Bailey stood outside the dugout at Ferndale High speaking about his team, this season and some lofty goals the Eagles have set.

Now in his second year with the program, Bailey said the time to put success into motion is now.

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Published April 22, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores South Lake baseball coach Jose Jiminez said he’s still working on finding the best nine players to put into the field each game, but he likes how his group has worked so hard early in the season.

“We’ve still got a lot of things to work out, but we’ll get there,” said Jiminez, whose team sat at 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division, at press time. 

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Published April 22, 2016

STERLING HEIGHTS — Sterling Heights High baseball players are determined to use this season as a jumpstart to turning the program around.

“We’re looking to go out and beat the teams that have beaten us over the last few years,” Stallions senior catcher Dallas Davis said. “They think they can just come in and smack us around because we’ve had some down years. That’s not about to happen this year.”

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Published April 22, 2016

CENTER LINE — Everything has gone right for the Center Line High baseball team through the first part of the season.

Through games played April 20, the Panthers sat at 10-1 overall and 2-0 in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division, outscoring opponents 94-9. They’ve recorded six shutouts, including three no-hitters and three one-hitters.

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Published April 21, 2016

DEARBORN — Just hours before a Catholic League Central Division doubleheader at Dearborn Divine Child, Matt Petry was going over some of the statistics that had carried his Orchard Lake St. Mary’s baseball team to seven wins in nine games.

One of the obvious, and impressive, numbers he pulled up was a pitching staff with a 2.33 ERA.

By the end of the night, that number headed even further south.

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Published April 19, 2016

C&G Newspapers

For years, Tim Mullen has attempted to break up the redundancy of his Troy High baseball team’s schedule by taking part in games at Comerica Park.

This spring, the Colts skipper has teamed up with Rochester High’s Eric Magiera for something slightly different.

On April 23, Troy and Rochester will square off in a doubleheader at the University of Michigan’s Ray Fisher Stadium.

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