Published April 11, 2014
Mott baseball coach hoping inexperienced roster can work out the kinks
By Jason Carmel Davis firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Jason on Twitter.
WARREN — The Warren Mott baseball team features 18 players. Six are seniors. The rest are juniors and sophomores.
Marauders coach Shawn Maloney called his roster young and inexperienced. The team had a mark of 0-6 at press time and was competing in the 2014 Macomb County Spring Break Tournament, which Maloney coordinates. He said playing in the annual tournament is helping his players.
“I think (playing the games) is critical,” said Maloney April 10, who guided Mott to an 18-15 record last season. “We have to play games to learn from our mistakes. I have to be positive and upbeat with the kids.
“We’re building a ship here. You can’t do that in a day. It’s going to take a few weeks. It might even take a month or so to figure out the right spots for the guys to play in. Hopefully, we’re able to figure those things out.”
Maloney said he’s expecting pitching to be the team’s strength. He said junior hurler John Young, who started for Mott’s varsity team as a sophomore, and senior Pierson Heythaler will be called on to have several strong outings.
Young and Heythaler were solid last season, Maloney said. The two combined to best Warren De La Salle in a district playoff game, along with earning wins over other teams.
“We’re really asking them to do a lot,” Maloney said. “And we don’t really have a true catcher right now, so (Heythaler) may have to catch, too. That’ll be difficult on him because he may not be able to pitch as much. We’re going to be playing three games a week. (Heythaler) will probably catch the first two and pitch the third. We’re not going to ride him too hard.”
The Marauders started Macomb Area Conference White Division play April 14 after press time. Mott went 3-7 in MAC White games last season and last captured a division title in 2009. Maloney said the league is wide open. He said he wants his team to stay in the chase for a division title as long as it can.
“Hopefully, if things go right, we can make a run (at a league title),” Maloney said. “We really just want to get better every day.
“Another thing we’re focusing on is eliminating big innings. We want three-out innings. That’s our key. We really stress making the routine play routinely. We can’t put too much stress on our pitchers. If we can do that, we’ll be a pretty good team.”
Mott next plays against Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse in a game slated for 4:30 p.m. April 16 at L’Anse Creuse.