Mott baseball coach expects to have solid season

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Warren Weekly | Published April 10, 2015

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WARREN — Longtime Warren Mott baseball coach Shawn Maloney said he has an older, more experienced team than last year, and he expects the group to battle to the last out in every game.

Maloney, whose team sat at 1-3 at press time, including a 1-2 mark in the 2015 Macomb County Spring Break Tourney, said it’s important to have returning players because it allows the team to focus on fine-tuning aspects of its game instead of spending much of the pre- and early season on basics.

“With that, I expect us to have a winning record this year,” said Maloney, who last finished above .500 in 2013. The team went 12-21, 4-11 Macomb Area Conference White Division last season.

Maloney said he’s looking for pitching and defense to lead the team. He touted junior pitcher Jalen Evans, who also catches and plays first base. Maloney, who led Mott to a state final appearance in 2002, said Evans is going to be the team’s ace.

“(Evans) is one of the best players in Michigan,” Maloney said. “He’s our three hitter; he throws in the upper 80s. He’s going to be our horse.”

Maloney is also looking for senior pitcher John Young to have a big year. Mott will lean on its pitching and defense, Maloney said, because he’s not expecting this year’s group to be the strongest hitting team of his tenure. Early on, Mott has two one-run losses. The Marauders tied Richmond High 4-4 April 7. Richmond has advanced to the last two Division 2 state title games.

“Good teams are always in every game,” Maloney said. “We’re going to find ways to win.”

The Mott coach said he expects his team to be in the race for a MAC White title and a district championship. Its last league title came in 2009. Mott took second in the MAC White in 2012. The team’s last district title came in 2004.

“I just tell the guys that if they stay with the program, we’ll be all right,” Maloney said. “If they stay on track, we’ll be on our way to doing some good things.”

Mott next takes the field for a matchup against Utica Ford at 4 p.m. April 15 at Ford.

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