Baseball

Published April 10, 2017

BIRMINGHAM — The first thing to consider when analyzing the 2017 Birmingham Brother Rice baseball team is considering just who graduated from the squad preceding it.

Five seniors exited from last year’s group, and four are playing at the Division 1 level in college and the fifth is playing junior college baseball.

But in typical Warriors fashion, there was no reset button to be pushed.

Reload, maybe.

“We have a team that can play, and one I think that can make a run (in the playoffs),” coach Bob Riker said last week.

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Published April 7, 2017

C&G Newspapers

METRO DETROIT — High school baseball coaches around the state will have to get a little more creative with their pitching rotations after the Michigan High School Athletic Association approved a ruling last December limiting the number of pitches thrown in an outing as a way to preserve young arms.

Beginning this season, pitchers are to follow a pitch-count limit, whereas a previous rule limited innings based on the number of outs thrown. 

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Published April 8, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Lutheran North baseball coach Steve Herbst believes his team has the pieces to have a strong season and compete for a Catholic High School League AA Division title.

The Mustangs’ roster features 11 players who were part of last year’s team that advanced to a Division 2 district final. Herbst said that wealth of experience should pay dividends for his team this spring.

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Published April 5, 2017

SOUTHFIELD — The other teams have been here and done this.

From soccer to football to basketball, former Blue Jays and Chargers united to have a first season as Warriors.

For guys on the Southfield A&T baseball team, their time is now.

“And we’re really coming along,” said skipper Darren Mosley, the former coach at Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup. “Our slogan this year is ‘United As One.’ These kids know each other.”

Or at least they’re learning.

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Published April 5, 2017

In what is his third year as Ferndale High’s baseball coach, Chris Bailey said this is probably the fastest and athletic team he has had during his tenure with the program.

He would like to exploit that strength by bunting, getting players on base and letting them try to steal some bags after they do so — in other words, playing “small ball.”

Although Bailey described his team as young, it is also one that has potential.

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Published April 5, 2017

MACOMB — The Macomb L’Anse Creuse North baseball team opened the season with a 6-6 tie in nine innings March 29 against Utica Eisenhower.

While the Crusaders obviously wanted to start the campaign with a victory, senior Brendan Peck was pleased with the effort, seeing his squad rally from an early 5-0 deficit.

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Published April 5, 2017

ROSEVILLE — The Roseville High baseball team has won three straight Macomb Area Conference Silver Division titles.

Senior pitcher/infielder Dylan Rochon has been a part of all of those teams and would trade all three division championships — and a potential fourth — for one thing.

“We have our eyes set on a district title,” said Rochon, who is a four-year varsity player. “We like winning the division titles, sure, but every year, the goal is a district championship. That’s what we put the work in for every year.”

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Published April 3, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Senior pitchers Justin Baatz and Theo Pozios are the elder statesmen of the St. Clair Shores South Lake baseball team.

They’ve seen a lot of success and hope that run continues.

South Lake has won three straight Division 2 district titles and the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division title last season after finishing second the previous two years.

Baatz and Pozios made a pact as freshmen that they hope to see through in their last season as prep baseball players.

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Published April 3, 2017

ROYAL OAK — As he spoke about his team, it was the second to last day of March.

As he prognosticated as to just how this spring may go, Royal Oak High baseball coach Greg Porter had his vision set a few months ahead.

“From the end of March to where I think this team could end up, it’s going to be a big difference,” Porter said. “There will be some growing pains, but we’re going to be better for it.”

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Published April 3, 2017

UTICA — Led by a roster with five college commits, the Utica Eisenhower baseball team has high expectations this season.  

The Eagles posted a 27-12 record last year, finishing third in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division. The team advanced to the district final, falling by one single run to Rochester High in a 10-inning affair.

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Published March 31, 2017

WARREN — Fresh off the program’s fourth state championship, the Warren De La Salle baseball team is back and ready to defend its crown.

The Pilots downed Saline High 7-6 last year to claim the Division 1 state title. The school also won state championships in 1993, 2000 and 2009.

“Guys are very excited to be back on the field. They remember the feeling of being on top and want to get back there again,” said coach Matt Cook, whose team finished at 28-13 last season.

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Published March 31, 2017

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The Clinton Township Clintondale baseball team has only two seniors on the roster with varsity experience.

Coach Rob Townsend takes that into consideration when setting goals for the team.

“We’re rusty. There’s definitely a lot of work to be done,” said Townsend, who is in his fourth year leading the Dragons. “We’re going to be learning a lot. We expect the team to make big improvements as the season goes on.”

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Published March 28, 2017

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — After winning four state championships over the last six years — two at the Division 3 level, and another two in D-4 — Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s baseball program will attempt to accomplish the same feat in the D-1 ranks when the playoffs begin later this spring.

Liggett — which is part of the Michigan Independent Athletic Conference — was dominant in the D-3 playoffs last season, winning the championship and semifinal games by a combined score of 21-0.

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Published March 28, 2017

BIRMINGHAM — If last year was great, well, there’s no telling what the prospects of this spring could be.

That’s the mindset of the Birmingham Groves baseball team as the 2017 season takes shape.

It was one year ago that the Falcons won 31 games and played into the regional round. Now, one year later, with almost the same roster intact, optimism is soaring.

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Published March 27, 2017

CLAWSON — There was a certain pep to his tone, an excitement to have the season starting, even as temperatures hovered in the 30s and baseball was a game being played inside the school gymnasium.

Ralph Haney is longing for spring to finally arrive.

And when it does — and stays — Haney is confident that his Clawson High baseball team could be one to remember.

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Published March 27, 2017

BERKLEY — The arrival of spring also represents the beginning of a new prep baseball season, and for Berkley High coach Matt Rawlik, he’s been ready for months to get it going.

“I feel pretty good about how the team looks so far,” Rawlik said. “Out of 17 varsity kids last year, I bring back 13, which is a big plus. We were really young last year. … Having that experience is (going to) play a big role, I think.”

Rawlik is also confident on the defensive side in the field and on the mound.

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Published March 27, 2017

UTICA — After capturing back-to-back Macomb Area Conference Blue Division crowns, the Utica High baseball team enters this season with its sights set on higher goals.

The Chieftains look to defend their league title, but also yearn for playoff success, aiming for their first victory in a district game since 2007.

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Published March 24, 2017

MADISON HEIGHTS — Madison Heights Lamphere baseball coach Adam Wooley said the 2017 version of the Rams has been looking good.

While there are a lot of things that could improve a team from one season to the next, what Wooley likes about his squad didn’t come as a result of time spent on a baseball diamond.

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Published January 27, 2017

ROCHESTER — When Brian Berryman greets a new player in the United Shore Professional Baseball League, his initial welcome can be slightly confounding.

“When I first meet a guy, I tell them, ‘I don’t want you here,’ and I say that to every single person we bring in,” said Berryman, who is the USPBL’s executive director of baseball operations. “They usually look at me like I’m an idiot, but then I tell them why.”

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Published September 8, 2016

Online Only

UTICA — The Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers secured a bye into the championship game of the United Shore Professional Baseball league by defeating Utica 18-1 Thursday night.

Coming into the regular season finale a half of a game ahead of the Eastside Diamond Hoppers (25-23), the Beavers (26-22) needed to win to avoid falling into second place based on its head-to-head record with Eastside.

Birmingham-Bloomfield went to work quickly at the plate to leave no doubt as to which team would earn a bye into Sunday’s final.

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