PBR Michigan's Top Stories For The Year 2014: Bay City Western Makes History

By Brent Alwine and Dylan Hefflinger

Michigan Scouting Director and Michigan Editor in Chief/Regional Scout

Top Stories for The Year 2014

PBR Michigan started up on April 10th, 2012 as seen here. Brent Alwine then took the reigns in Michigan to start 2014 and has been an integral part in helping PBR Michigan grow.

Now that Michigan is fully entrenched as a top PBR state, we look to continue our climb while continuing to provide top notch baseball coverage in Michigan. 

Brent, PBR Michigan Director of Scouting, along with Dylan Hefflinger, Michigan Editor in Chief/Regional Scout take a look back at the year in review and put together a list of the top stories for 2014.

To start off the the list we look at a pitcher who may not have been able to finish his high school career how he had hoped, but was still a perfect 35-0 on the mound.

Next up we look at how Bay City Western made history in 2014.

A rundown of the stories: Note: We will be conducting a Twitter contest to vote on the top stories for 2014 once the stories have been posted.

Bay City Western Becomes 1st Back-to-Back Division 1 State Champion

Bay City Western entered the 2014 season as the defending state champions in Division 1, but history was not on there side, as there were a few factors working against the Warriors.

  • No team has ever won back-to-back state titles in Division 1 history.
  • The Warriors lost key players off the 2013 championship, those players now competing in college were, Grant Miller (Western Michigan), Brett Adcock (Michigan), Connor Foley (Saginaw Valley State), Brenden Harris (Saginaw Valley State), and Grant Bridgewater (Northwood).

Western's almost didn't even make it out of the first round of the tournament as they narrowly defeated Midland 2-1, but once they made it to the state final four, the Warriors cruised to the state championship. Western outscored their opponents 12-3 while outhitting them 24-8.

In the semi-finals the Warriors defeated Clarkston 6-1. For the full story please click here.

Jason Clark (32nd ranked in the 2016 class) was dominant on the hill in the state championship, as the sophomore righty went the distance allowing just two runs on three hits while striking out five. Clark also had a perfect game going until allowing three hits and two runs in the fifth. The Warriors went on to beat Grosse Pointe South 6-2 as seen here.

One of the main reasons for the Warriors success is because Western head coach Tim McDonald is known to have his teams ready to play while being fundamentally sound once the season starts. Some notes of interest on Coach McDonald:

  • McDonald led Bay City Western to its first state title in 2013, where the Warriors won a school record 42 games, as well as the championship in 2014 where they won 38 games as seen here.
  • McDonald was also inducted into the Bay County Hall of Fame on October 6th, 2013.
  • McDonald became the 36th head baseball coach in the Michigan to win 500 games during the 2014 season.
  • Has a career record of 602-205-6, while having nine 30-win seasons, seven conference titles, four district championships while reaching state four times.
  • McDonald in high school at Mt. Pleasant Sacred High School in 1988, went 16-1 with a 1.83 ERA in 108 innings pitched.
  • At Central Michigan University, McDonald set new career records with 36 wins and more that 300 innings pitched.

Bay City Back-to-Back-to Back?

Now the the Warriors have won back-to-back state titles, while not try for a third in 2015?

Western has a great 1A-1B punch on the mound with the aforementioned Clark as well as the 33rd ranked prospect in the 2015 class, Alec Justin. To go along with those two the Warriors have a solid two-way player in Connor Sonnier, who is ranked 76th in the 2016 class. It looks like the Warriors will be primed for a good season in 2015.