Division 1 Team Of The Week: Week 3 - Grand Blanc


Bruce Hefflinger and Dylan Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer and Editor in Chief/Scout

 

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Division 1 Team Of The Week: Week 3 - Grand Blanc

GRAND BLANC - It was a great first week to the season for defending Division I state champion Grand Blanc. It started with a walk-off victory in the season opener with Clarkston and, after a sweep of league foe Davison, the Bobcats played at Comerica Park and run-ruled Rochester.

The 4-0 start brings accolades as the Prep Baseball Report Division 1 Team of the Week.

“You never know at the beginning of the year how your kids are going to come out hitting,” Grand Blanc head coach Kevin Hubbs related. “Pitching is usually ahead of hitting at this stage, so it’s been a pleasant surprise. We’ve been able to score in a lot of different ways.”

The biggest was in the first game of the year when Seth Austerman hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Clarkston, 4-1.

“It was a no-doubter,” Hubbs said of the blast by the Grand Blanc senior. “It was his first home run he’s ever hit. It was awesome.”

The long ball brought an end to a pitching battle between a host of Grand Blanc pitchers, starting with ace David Lally, and Clarkston’s Trevor Busyn.

“It was tough coming out of the gates and seeing a kid like that,” Hubbs said about facing the Central Michigan commit, a 6-8 senior ranked ninth among 2022 right-handed pitchers in the state.

But the pitching staff was up to the challenge, with six pitchers combining to throw a two-hit shutout.

After beating Davison 13-3 and 13-0, the Bobcats then had the honor of playing at Comerica Park.

“We played Western DeLaSalle there last year,” Hubbs said. “It was the last minute, but Comerica contacted us and said they had an opening. It never gets old being at a major league park. We played under the lights which was awesome. The kids checked out the clubhouse and had the best time.”

In the game at Comerica, Austerman just missed two home runs on balls that barely went foul. The senior outfielder is hitting .500 on the season for a team led at the plate to date by Hunter Ames and Nathan Fidelino. A Hope commit, Ames “has been our best hitter so far,” Hubbs said of the senior who is batting .600. Fidelino, a sophomore, is averaging close to .600 with three doubles, a home run and seven RBIs in the first week of the season.

“Our hitting, after the first game when we had some rough at-bats, has really been good,” Hubbs said.

The pitching has also been solid with Nate Helms, throwing three innings of one-hit ball in the shutout of Davison after Lally started the first two games.

“Our pitching has been consistent with the kids throwing strikes,” Hubbs said. “Our defense has been pretty good as well.”

The sixth-year head coach is looking for more the rest of the way starting on Wednesday against West Bloomfield, with games ahead this week against Saginaw Heritage and Bay City Western, a game that was moved from Monday due to the weather.

“We need to continue throwing strikes, playing good defense and putting the ball in play,” Hubbs explained. “In our first game we had way too many strikeouts. We’re stressing the need to put together good at-bats and limit the strikeouts as much as possible.”

 

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