Clintondale baseball working to get back on schedule after mass cancellations

By: Brad D. Bates | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published May 10, 2011

 Clinton Township Clintondale’s Andrew Wenturine hits during the Dragons’ 8-6 loss to St. Clair Shores South Lake May 4 at South Lake.

Clinton Township Clintondale’s Andrew Wenturine hits during the Dragons’ 8-6 loss to St. Clair Shores South Lake May 4 at South Lake.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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Clinton Township Clintondale baseball coach Scott Evans is sick and tired of the gym at Clintondale.

With massive cancellations and indoor practices because of rain, Evans has tired of seeing his team in batting cages, and it’s forced him to change just about everything in his plans to keep his team in shape.

“We’ve only had five games, and I haven’t been able to find out where we’re at,” Evans said May 4 prior to his team’s game against St. Clair Shores South Lake.

“It’s a tough season, and in 17 years, I’ve never seen anything like this where we’ve been inside all the time. When you’re inside in cages and simulating games, it’s not the same as being in pressure situations in games.”

The top hindrance to his team has been that the Dragons need to play as many games as possible.

“Developmentally, it really puts you behind for next year, especially for me, who doesn’t have a lot of kids that play summer ball,” Evans said.

“When you lose 14 games, that’s four at-bats a game, and that’s 56 at-bats. That is a lot of timing lost, and it’s almost impossible to make that up.”

Evans said the glut of cancellations has essentially robbed his team of a third of its season and forced him to flesh out his lineup during league games in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division.

“We divide our season into three parts,” Evans said. “You have the spring, the league and then the playoffs. In the spring, you develop players and see who can do what. Now we don’t have that. We’re in our league, and we don’t know where to play people.”

While he’s still searching for his everyday lineup, Evans said he’s been able to rely on some of his veterans, including seniors Justin Pascoe, Andrew Wenturine and Chris
Lecik, to steady the ship and keep his team focused.

“We’re a senior team, and we want to play games this year,” Evans said. “But this is the time, as a coach, when you have to change up your practice routine and help the kids through it.”
Evans did say that one of the benefits of the cancellations is that his team has been endlessly drilling fundamentals.

“We work our butts off, and no one outworks us,” Evans said. “Some coaches send their kids home after rainouts, but we stay together and work.

“It’s horrible, but you work a lot more on fundamentals,” Evans added. “We’ve worked on fundamentals like pick-off moves and things like that. But our biggest concern is still that our players need to learn to play.”


 

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