Division 3 Team Of The Week: Week 3 - Clinton

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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Division 1 Team Of The Week: Week 3 - Clinton

CLINTON - Nine was the magic number for Clinton last week. A 9-8 win over Ida started the week and a 9-7 victory over Manchester capped things off with a 6-2 win over Ida and 9-1 triumph over Whitmore Lake in between, leaving the Redwolves at 9-0 on the season.

“We’ve been down in three of our games going into our last at-bats and our team never gives up,” noted Joe Gillies, head coach of the Prep Baseball Report Division 3 Team of the Week. “If we have an AB, we have a chance.”

Clutch hits were in abundance this past week for Clinton, which last season lost in the regional finals to eventual state champion Buchanan.

Junior Cole Breitenwischer hit a home run to send the first game with Ida into extra innings and Jalen Stelzer finished it off with a walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth. In the finale of the week, senior Caden Arntz had a bases-loaded hit in the top of the seventh to put Clinton on top to stay.

Stelzer is now batting .517 with three walks to complement fellow sophomore Andy Fair, who leads the Vikings in hitting at .650 to go along with eight free passes. Senior Ben Kennedy has also been a big contributor at the plate with a .435 average and five walks.

But it is on the mound where the head coach of the third-rated D3 team in the state is especially pleased.

“We have had good pitching from Ryan Tschirhart, Andy Fair, Jalen Stelzer, Keegan Huston, Sam Brown and Gavin Shores,” pointed out Gillies. Stelzer and Fair are sophomores, Shores a junior and the rest seniors, with Tschirhart a Calvin College commit.

It has Gillies happy about where the team is at this point.  

“Our expectations were to be in the hunt for an LCAA league championship and continue to improve heading into district play,” Gillies said. “Team chemistry is the key. We need to continue to gel as a unit and play for each other.”

A pair of games with perennial power Blissfield are on tap this week.

“The LCAA has several good teams,” Gillies concluded. “Each week playing a different school has been, and will continue to be, a challenge for our club.”