The Eastpointe High baseball team prepares to break the huddle after an April 30 practice. Coach Shaun Rivers is in his first year with the team.

The Eastpointe High baseball team prepares to break the huddle after an April 30 practice. Coach Shaun Rivers is in his first year with the team.

Photo by Sean Work


Family atmosphere driving Eastpointe baseball

By: Zachary Manning | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 3, 2019

 Eastpointe High’s Brad Spalsbury goes to make a play during an April 30 practice. At press time, the Shamrocks were 0-5 overall.

Eastpointe High’s Brad Spalsbury goes to make a play during an April 30 practice. At press time, the Shamrocks were 0-5 overall.

Photo by Sean Work

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EASTPOINTE –– Walking up to the field at Memorial Park in Eastpointe, it’s hard to miss the yell of “Family” coming from the Eastpointe High baseball team. 

It’s something the Shamrocks shout after breaking every huddle, and it only solidifies the bond that the group has made over the course of the season.

But the family aspect extends far beyond just one chant. Coach Shaun Rivers wants to make sure his players know just what being part of a family is all about. 

That’s why he brings his kids to practices and games. His brother, Dion Mitchell, is also an assistant coach. To push the family narrative further, The team likes to think of the dugout as the living room and sees the field as the den. 

And no matter how different they may be, the players suiting up for the Shamrocks consider themselves to be brothers. 

“To us, it’s real important,” junior Dominick Fusto said. “The culture and the whole idea of family comes in with teamwork, and everything just builds up as a big unit. Every last one of our players is a family member to me. Same with coach.” 

On the field, the results haven’t been as positive as the team would like. At press time, the Sharmocks were 0-5 overall and 0-5 in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division.

However, despite the losses, the team’s bond hasn’t wavered. Rivers said his players have been chanting and cheering as if they were winning. And the way Rivers sees it, some wins could be on the horizon. 

“Overall, seasonwise, we’re doing pretty good,” Rivers said. “We haven’t won, but we’re very close. Very close. Everything is coming together very nicely.”

Defense is something the Shamrocks put a lot of effort into and an aspect of the game they feel best in. Pitching and hitting has been lagging behind thus far, but Rivers said the bats have started to wake up. 

Fusto has also liked what he’s seen out of the team thus far. For him, seeing effort and commitment will be key to how the rest of the season plays out. 

“To me, our strength is our teamwork. Our teamwork is everything to us. We live by that,” Fusto said. “What we really work on a lot is our fielding. Defense is key: if you can stop the team, then you got a chance to win.” 

While winning is always a positive, Rivers doesn’t want to be judged solely on the record at the end of the year. He’d like to see continued improvement in character, academics and on-field play. 

“They do want to be more than what they are. They do want to grow and become better young men and leaders,” Rivers said. “It’s been a beautiful transition to watch them grow, and they just constantly keep surprising me with their growth, with their knowledge.”

The Shamrocks’ next game will be at 4:30 p.m. May 8 at home against Warren Fitzgerald.

Call Sports Writer Zachary Manning at (586) 279-1107. Follow Sports on Twitter @CandGSports.

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