East Detroit baseball out to surprise teams in 2015

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published April 6, 2015

 The East Detroit High baseball team is hoping for continued improvement, as its win percentage has increased every year since 2010. Pictured is Shamrocks senior catcher Andrew Whitlow during a game last season.

The East Detroit High baseball team is hoping for continued improvement, as its win percentage has increased every year since 2010. Pictured is Shamrocks senior catcher Andrew Whitlow during a game last season.

File photo by Edward Osinski

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EASTPOINTE — The win percentage for the East Detroit High baseball team has improved every year since 2010.


Senior catcher Andrew Whitlow thinks that trend can continue, even as the team welcomes a new coach, Tom Miller, who spent the last six years as an assistant at Center Line High.


The team’s season opener against Harper Woods High took place April 6, after press time..


“I think we’re ahead of schedule,” said Whitlow, a team captain along with junior pitcher/shortstop Austin Pierce. “That’s even though we have a new coach and some new players. We’re looking better than we thought we would at this point.”


Miller said he’s going to teach discipline to a team that went 9-10, 9-6 Macomb Area Conference Silver Division last season. The team returns five players from last season and has a roster that features nine seniors and four juniors.


“All I’m asking is that they go out and give their all every day,” said Miller, who was part of a Center Line staff that won Division 2 district and regional championships in 2013. East Detroit hasn’t won a title of any kind in more than a decade.


Miller said the Shamrocks will utilize their team speed, as they will play small ball, advance runners, run the base paths smartly and steal bases.


“Other teams better be prepared for us to do some running on them this year,” Miller said. “You can’t teach speed.”


Whitlow said the team’s speed will help immensely as East Detroit looks to stay on the upswing. He said the team has players who can get on base via bunt or infield hit.


Miller said defense is a focal point and is challenging right now because some of the players are new to varsity baseball. Miller said Whitlow, who the coach called one of the best catchers in Macomb County, will anchor the defense and serve as a coach on the field.


“(Whitlow) is the heart of the team,” Miller said. “He’s solid behind the plate, and he’s a leader.”


Miller is hopeful that Whitlow, and other players, can keep the team in the race for the MAC Silver title. East Detroit finished tied for second last season with Center Line, two games behind first-place Roseville High.


“I think we’ll hold our own this year. It helps having nine seniors — that gives us a high level of maturity,” Miller said. “I think we’re going to do very well this year. I’m pretty optimistic.”


East Detroit next takes the field for a matchup against St. Clair Shores South Lake, set for noon April 11 at Memorial Field in Eastpointe.

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