Division 4 Team Of The Week: Week 4 - East Jordan

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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Division 4 Team Of The Week: Week 4 - East Jordan

EAST JORDAN - Tom Reid believed East Jordan would be strong once again this season. But expectations of the head coach have been exceeded thus far.

“I thought we’d be good, but not 12-0 out of the gate,” admitted the mentor of Prep Baseball Report’s Division 4 Team of the Week.”

So what has impressed Reid the most?

“Our continuity has been incredible,” noted Reid. “They like each other and are meshing well. It’s been just amazing.”

Four wins this past week included 1-0 and 5-4 wins over Division 2 Petosky on Wednesday.

Korbyn Russell threw a three-hit shutout, striking out six and walking three, while Brenden Aenis hit a second inning home run for the lone run of the game in the opener. In the second contest, Lucas Stone opened the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff walk and courtesy runner Hunter Cesaro came around to score on three wild pitches.

Eli Burns, Ethan Thomas and Stone combined for a no-hitter in a 9-0 sweep of Lake City two days prior, with the Red Devils also recording a 6-4 victory on Monday.

“The boys are throwing strikes and the defense is making plays behind them,” Reid said. “It’s been fun.”

Russell, a 6-1 185-pound sophomore left-hander, has been “our horse,” according to Reid, standing at 4-0 with three shutouts, allowing just one run to date.

Dawson Carey, a senior shortstop committed to Lakeland College, has not permitted an earned run when pitching and has a 2-0 record with a pair of shutouts. Stone, a junior southpaw, is 2-0 with two saves while Burns is also 2-0 for an East Jordan staff that has a team ERA of 1.30.

“Our defense has been rock solid,” Reid pointed out. “We’ve had a few errors, but we’ve been solid behind our pitchers. Every kid I’m rolling out there seems to be making plays.”

Eight seniors are on the roster including catcher Ben Reid, the head coach’s son.

“He’s been phenomenal behind the plate, calling all the games,” the East Jordan mentor said of his 2023 backstop. “He’s really doing a good job with our pitching staff.”

Carey has been the top hitter with a .440 batting average while Aenis, a first baseman/right fielder who bats right and throws left, is at .385 with a pair of home runs.

Senior outfielder Devon Olstrom is hitting .380 while Reid also points out that Thomas, a senior left fielder, has had some “key hits for us this year.”

A year ago East Jordan advanced to the Division 3 district finals before losing 6-5 to Boyne City. This year the Red Devils have dropped to D-4 and are currently the seventh-rated team in the state.

“The key for us is to keep healthy,” Reid said. “Our bats can also be better. If Ben and Russell can heat up, we’ll be tough.”

Monday’s game with Traverse City St. Francis, the Lake Michigan Conference champions every season since 2014, has been postponed due to weather leaving East Jordan atop the standings at 2-0 so far in what will be the final season for the conference. The Red Devils will be joining the Sky Valley Conference next year.