Prep Baseball Report

Division 2 Team Of The Week: 1st Edition - Richmond

Bruce Hefflinger
Michigan Senior Writer

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Division 2 Team Of The Week: 1st Edition - Richmond

RICHMOND - Even not at full strength, Richmond has survived. The unbeaten Blue Devils entered play on Monday with a 6-0 record, earning recognition as the Prep Baseball Division 2 Team of the Week.

“So far pitching has been our strength,” explained head coach Scott Evans. “We have thrown strikes and limited free bases thus far.”

Joe Lindman, a newcomer to the program, has won three games for the 10th-ranked D-2 team in the state while Bowling Green commit Anthony Bonnetti, the second-ranked junior outfielder in Michigan, has also picked up the slack for the absence of Charlie Hitzelberger who has been out with a broken hand.

“We are an extremely young and inexperienced team,” noted Evans, who lost all but a couple starters from a year ago. “Most of our games have been battles, nothing has come easy. Players have just found a way to win some tight games.

“But it’s a long season and I’m sure we will hit some bumps as the season progresses. With any young team it’s about development and growth. I really like my players. We may not be long on talent but they will work to get better and have embraced the growth mindset we try to aspire to have. We are really trying to get our young devils to embrace 21 outs.”

Evans points to a team effort as beneficial in the great start, which has continued this week with a 6-0 win over Imlay City.

“Offensively, it has been a true team experience,” Evans related. “Each day different players have come through with great at-bats, hits, moving runners, whatever it takes to get runs across the board.”

But the coach of the Blue Devils understands what lies ahead will not be easy.

“On the horizon is the gauntlet,” Evans said. “Our league has some really really good teams in it. We took two from Almont, who flat out just hits, and survived almost being shut out against (Jason) Lane, who’s a great pitcher.

“Armada is going to shock some teams, they have a ton of returners and pitching and North Branch is a preseason Top 10 team that returns everyone from last year’s team that made a run. They have great pitching.

“Then you have (Josh) Kasner and the Muskrats at Algonac that are ranked No. 1 in D-3. They are for real. Kasner (second-rated senior RHP in Michigan) is throwing complete games, bringing it 93-plus with a devastating slider. Then you have Fowler and the Bulldogs. He’s a great coach who always has his boys ready to play. And Davis at Croslex. They always give us fits everytime we play them. They just compete.

“It’s going to be a long season. I’m hoping the kids just keep maturing and gaining confidence.   We will only be as good as our pitching and defense takes us.”

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