Meet the all-stars
Here’s a look at the 2014 East all-stars and the schools they represent. For a roster of the West All-Star team, visit www.mhsbca.org.
DETROIT — The stars of spring are set to unite on a summer night that will likely never be forgotten.
Some were drafted.
Others will continue their careers at the collegiate level.
But for all 36 high school baseball players, July 10 will be a star-studded night at Comerica Park, as the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association puts forth its 33rd high school all-star game.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Madison Heights Bishop Foley coach Buster Sunde. He’s one of three coaches serving on the East team bench. “I’m real excited to see all these kids get the chance to play at Comerica and have an opportunity to be part of something like this.”
Sunde, who guided his Ventures to state titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013 before losing in the regional finals this year, is joined on the East squad by Pontiac Notre Dame Prep skipper Darren Audia and Southgate Anderson’s Dave Fast.
“To me, it’s just a great honor to be involved with all this,” Audia said. “I think we are all looking forward to the whole event.”
Players for the East and West teams — 18 per side — were chosen by the squad’s three respective coaches.
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett skipper Dan Cimini, who also serves as MHSBCA First Vice President, said individual players are nominated by their coaches after the season is completed.
The all-star coaches then dissect those nominations to come up with their 18-man rosters.
“The practice the day before the game is going to help us kind of figure out who goes where and what will work best,” Audia said when asked how difficult it may be to coach so many guys he’s never seen before. “The three coaches will sit down the night before the game and come up with a plan as far as putting a best foot forward.”
Audi and Sunde have both coached at Comerica Park before, against one another, in fact, in the 2013 and 2014 Catholic League finals.
But both also recognize how much different this game will be.
“I’m used to coaching against Buster four or five times every year,” Audia said with a laugh. “This is going to be nice. I’m looking forward to working with him.”
“We expect a lot of good baseball,” Sunde said. “These are kids that understand the game very well and have great careers ahead of them.”
In a game that was delayed by more than 90 minutes last year, the East squad won 9-4.
While this may be a glorified scrimmage, and every player expects his fair share of playing time, there is still the desire to win.
“No doubt about it,” Audia said. “These kids have that competitive spirit. They want to go out and win.”
“We’ll see good pitching, good swings and good defense, and we’re going to keep things as positive as we can,” Sunde said. “At the same time, we’ll see some opportunities to make some things happen and try and get a win for our side. If we have a chance to get a steal or lay down a bunt, or use a matchup that favors us, we’re going to jump at it.”
The 33rd annual event is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Tickets are available to the public and can be purchased at the gate for $10.