L’Anse Creuse baseball on quest for championships
April 16, 2014
HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse baseball coach Bob Walmsley said that even though his team hasn’t played the game in its natural environment as much as he would like to at this point, he’s pleased with how the group has performed thus far.
The Lancers had a mark of 1-0 at press time. Like many other teams, L’Anse Creuse baseball has lost games due to inclement weather this spring.
“We’ve only played one game, but I was pleased with the result,” Walmsley said. “We made some good decisions at the plate, and we pitched well. So far, so good.”
Walmsley said he’s especially pleased with how his team has improvised and worked through being stuck practicing and working out in a gym for most of the preseason. One drawback, though, is the team has missed out on playing several early-season contests.
L’Anse Creuse began Macomb Area Conference White Division play April 14. The team, at press time, was one of 16 squads playing in the 2014 Macomb County Spring Break Tournament. The Lancers, depending on how deep they advance in the tournament, will have played, at most, seven games before the start of league play.
“We like to use those non-league games to get as many reps in as we can for our players,” Walmsley said. “We like to get our pitchers work and get guys work at the plate, and we’ll have less of an opportunity to do that before divisional play starts. But everybody’s in that same position, so we’ll just have to see how things play out.”
The Lancers coach said he expects senior pitcher Dan Bailey, who is 11-3 as a varsity starter, and senior center fielder/pitcher Hunter Lega, the team’s leadoff hitter, to lead L’Anse Creuse. Walmsley is also expecting solid play from senior outfielder Andrew Cortemanche and junior second and third baseman Adam Redoute. Lancers juniors P.J. Warner (first base/catcher) and Aaron Gonzalez (catcher) will hit in the middle of the order and serve as the power in the lineup.
Walmsley said he expects the White Division to be strong. He said the race for the title is usually very tight, with the chase often coming down to the last week of the season.
Walmsley, heading a program that has won 20 games in seven of the last 10 seasons, also said the winner of the White will be the team that can survive one-run games and push runs across the plate when bats are cold.
“So base running will be key,” said Walmsley, who guides a program that has finished at or above .500 in nine of the last 10 years. “And you also might be able to use a trick play here and there to pull out a win, too.”
Walmsley is proud of the consistency his program has exhibited over the last decade. He said having combined practices with the JV and varsity teams play a role in the program’s success, as the younger players are able to work with the veterans and learn the tricks of the trade.
Walmsley said, though, that winning 20 games is not the first priority.
“I want to win as many championships as we can: division, district, and make a run at a regional,” he said. “If we’re able to do those things, hitting the 20-win plateau will take care of itself.”
Next, L’Anse Creuse plays Warren Mott at 4 p.m. April 16 at Mott.