Division 3 Team Of The Week: Week 3 - Chesaning


Bruce Hefflinger and Dylan Hefflinger
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Division 3 Team Of The Week: Week 3 - Chesaning

CHESANING - Despite getting just three practices in on the home field so far, Chesaning is off to a 5-1 start. Good pitching will do that.

“The biggest thing to our start has been our pitching,” head coach Bob Sager said. “We’ve been able to use our top two in four of our games.”

Tyler Sager, the head coach’s son and the lone senior that plays on a regular basis, has been at another level this season. In his first outing, the Northwood commit tossed a one-hitter with 19 strikeouts and two walks in a 4-1 victory over Caro. This past week the 74th-ranked 2022 RHP in Michigan fired a three-hit shutout, fanning 20 without walking a batter in an 8-0 blanking of Ovid-Elsie.

Sophomore Nash Wendling has been a great complement, allowing one earned run with eight Ks in a five-inning 14-4 win over Ovid-Elsie after going six innings to pick up a win in a 9-5 defeat of Caro in his first outing of the year.

“We knew we’d be solid and hit well and play defense, the big question was would we have enough quality pitching,” Sager explained. “Our number two (Wendling) pitcher as a freshman did really well so we knew we were solid with our top two.”

Both have also been outstanding at the plate hitting .470, with Wendling playing first base when not pitching and Sager at third when not on the mound.

Junior Logan Falk, the second-leading hitter on last year’s 19-10-1 team, anchors a strong outfield in center with junior Eli Escamilla in left and sophomore Keighan Stoddard in right.

Junior catcher Lucas Powell is another returnee being counted on this season after finishing third on the team in batting a year ago.

“We have some guys that were on varsity last year doing well at the plate, but we’re very young with only one senior playing regularly,” Sager noted. “We have three freshmen and three sophomores that play quite a bit.”

Despite the youth, Sager has been pleasantly surprised.

“We’re playing a little older than I thought we would,” Sager admitted. “We don’t have a ton of kids that play travel ball, maybe five or six, so how they’re playing older after not playing as many games as others has impressed me.”

Athleticism and team speed are strengths according to the head coach, whose team has just one game left this week on Friday against Saginaw Valley Lutheran.

“Being more consistent everywhere is key for us,” Sager concluded. “We need to just keep getting better. We have a very tough district so we’ve got to keep improving and hopefully get some more field time soon.”

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