Local players shine in 2015 baseball All-Star game

15 players from C & G coverage area invited

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published June 17, 2015

 Pontiac Notre Dame Prep's Will Mullen, left, Northville's Evan Flohr and Madison Heights Bishop Foley's Nate Grys watch from the dugout as West Bloomfield's Robbie Jones takes a cut during the 2015 MHSBCA All-Star game June 17 at Comerica Park.

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep's Will Mullen, left, Northville's Evan Flohr and Madison Heights Bishop Foley's Nate Grys watch from the dugout as West Bloomfield's Robbie Jones takes a cut during the 2015 MHSBCA All-Star game June 17 at Comerica Park.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

DETROIT — It didn’t look or feel like a baseball game in June, with rain coming down early on, cloudy skies and a game-time temperature of 67 degrees, but the stars came out and shined in the 2015 Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game.

The game, in its 34th year and put on by the Detroit Tigers Foundation, took place June 17 at Comerica Park. It pits East vs. West and brings together some of the best baseball players in the state.

A group of coaches, this year including Grosse Pointe North’s Frank Sumbera and Grosse Pointe South’s Dan Griesbaum, select players and coaches for the game. Graduating seniors are selected to play in the exhibition. Fifteen players from teams in the C & G coverage area were selected to play in the game for the East.

The game was special for each player who was invited. It was more special for the East, which came out on top, 4-3, to avenge last year’s 19-7 loss.

Madison Heights Lamphere coach Adam Wooley served as one of four coaches for the East. He said coaching a game at Comerica Park gave the coaches the feeling that they were coaching a big-league game.

“This is a great venue for the game,” Wooley said. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t as excited as the kids to be here.”

Back and forth affair

The West jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Midland Dow infielder Connor Smith (Western Michigan University) scored on a wild pitch by West Bloomfield’s Chandler Sedat (Indiana University). Smith tripled to left field earlier in the inning.

The East team tied things up in its half of the first, as Madison Heights Bishop Foley outfielder Nate Grys (Western Michigan) singled to right field to score Grosse Pointe North outfielder Daniel Robinson (Central Michigan University). Robinson walked earlier in the inning, which also saw Grosse Pointe South infielder Ryan Liagre (Grand Valley State University) and Sterling Heights Stevenson infielder Riley McCauley (Michigan State University) record hits.

Sedat pitched one inning, allowing one run, one hit and a walk.

Warren De La Salle pitcher Dan Michalak pitched the second inning and sat the West down in order, tallying two strikeouts in the frame.

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep pitcher Will Mullen pitched a scoreless third inning, only allowing a walk. Rochester High’s Jake Stout (University of Toledo) followed in the fourth and surrendered only an infield single. Next up in the fifth was Warren Cousino’s Christ Stewart (Hillsdale College), who sat the West down in order.

Sedat in the sixth inning hit a shot to right-center field for a double that plated West Bloomfield teammate Robbie Jones (MSU) to give the East a 2-1 lead. Later in the inning, Detroit Western International infielder Anthony Guitierrez laced a single to left that scored Sedat and put the East up 3-1.

Taylor Kennedy pitcher Tyler Butzin (Eastern Michigan University), pitching in the seventh for the East, was able to get out of a jam after loading the bases to preserve the lead over the West.

The West battled back in the eighth, as Petoskey’s Jordan Swiss (Saginaw Valley State University) smashed a double off the left field wall that scored Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central’s Bryce Windham (Undecided) from first base to make it 3-2, East. The West tied it later in the inning when Swiss scored from third on a throwing error.

Gutierrez gave the East a 4-3 lead in the eighth with a single to center field that scored Jones, who singled at the top of the inning.

Jones, who entered the game in the fifth inning, reached base safely in all four of his at bats.

“Of course we wanted to win, but this has been more so about the experience than anything else,” Jones said. “You get to know a lot of guys and hear their stories and you find out that everybody works so hard and you gain so much appreciation for what everybody did to get to this point.”

Williams (Macomb Community College) wanted to showcase his power in the exhibition and vowed to take his hacks and swing for the fences — at the right pitch, of course. He hit a shot to deep center field that couldn’t quite clear the 420-foot wall and was caught.

“I was looking to hit one out,” Williams said. “But the most important thing was to have fun and I think we all did.”

Local players invited to MHSBCA All-Star Game

Chandler Sedat, West Bloomfield
Robbie Jones, West Bloomfield
Brandon Williams, Sterling Heights Stevenson
Riley McCauley, Sterling Heights Stevenson
Daniel Robinson, Grosse Pointe North
Aaron Gonzalez, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse
Nick Plummer, Birmingham Brother Rice
Eric Gilgenbach, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek
Dan Michalak, Warren De La Salle
Nate Grys, Madison Heights Bishop Foley
Chris Stewart, Warren Cousino
Jake Stout, Rochester High
Ryan Liagre, Grosse Pointe South
Will Mullen, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Perry Klemanski, Bloomfield Hills