Division 4 Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Fowler

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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Division 4 Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Fowler

FOWLER - No seniors on the roster has not had an impact on the success of the Fowler baseball team.

Six wins this past week has the youthful Eagles now at 15-3 on the season and recipients of the honor of being the Prep Baseball Report Division 4 Team of the Week.

“Without having any seniors it was important that the young guys step up which they have,” explained head coach Glenn Pung. “I knew that our pitching was going to be solid but I’m very happy that some of the young pitchers have developed roles in the rotation.”

Evan Curtiss and Sam Vanneste have been outstanding on the hill to date, with Curtiss 6-1 and Vanneste 4-0. Curtiss has a 1.73 ERA, fanning 44 in 28.1 innings, while Vanneste has a 0.433 ERA with 45 Ks in 29.1 frames.

“We were picked fourth in our league and currently are in first,” noted Pung, whose squad has a half game lead on Laingsburg and rival Pewamo‑Westphalia, Thursday’s opponent, in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference. “I have challenged our team this season with a challenging schedule and they are responding very well.”

That includes six wins this past week, 10-0 and 5-0 over Potterville, 8-2 over East Lansing and 10-8 over Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart before a sweep of Portland St. Pats, 13-3 and 12-0.

“My expectations were high with this team but I didn’t know how long it would take for the players to adapt to the varsity level,” Pung explained. “At this point they are playing very smart baseball and staying focused. Our team fielding percentage is an awesome .965 and team ERA is 2.32.”

Vanneste, a sophomore who plays shortstop (only two errors this season) when not pitching, is hitting a team-high .440 while Curtiss, a 6-4 275-pounder ranked 18th among 2024 first basemen in Michigan, has six home runs in the past six games to up his season batting mark to .371. 

“Evan is being looked at by Division I and II for football and I would expect offers to start coming for baseball for both Evan and Sam,” the fifth-year head coach said.

Regional finalists a year ago before losing to Beal City, Pung is hopeful when it comes to the remainder of the regular season as well as the upcoming tournament for the eighth-rated team in the state in D-4.

“Over the past week our hitting is starting to hit stride and that will be important as the season goes on,” concluded Pung, whose Eagles have only lost to a pair of state-ranked teams, D-2 St. John’s twice and D-3 Laingsburg.