As the sun starts setting a bit later each day, and the winter sports season begin to wrap up, we want to start thinking of warmer weather and getting back outdoors.
This is a first of several season previews of local high school spring sports teams, and we are kicking things off with a look at the defending Division 4 Baseball State Champions, the St. Patrick Shamrocks.
In 2017 the Shamrocks finished 15-1 in their league, and 34-3-1 overall.
Coach Bryan Scheurer is back for his 14th year leading the Shamrock varsity squad. He spent three years at PHS coaching JV ball before taking over the Shamrocks.
When asked about his outlook on this year’s team, Scheurer said, “Our outlook this year is that of embracing high expectations. We'd like to be in the discussion for league and postseason titles. In order to do so, we will need to prepare with an extreme amount of effort and enthusiasm to carry on what has been built. The level of character displayed throughout our healthy competition in practices will lead to what is shown on game day(s).”
As for notable losses to graduation, the Shamrocks do have some big shoes to fill.
Scheurer said, “Our team will undoubtedly miss our three seniors that graduated last year. All three were four-year letter award winners. Brendan Schrauben was a two-time All-State Catcher, Noah Goodman was All-state (pitcher) last season and Graham Smith was All-League all four of his years in baseball.”
Brendan Schrauben is now playing baseball at Alma College.
But even with the loss of those seniors, the Shamrocks have plenty of talent returning.
Dan Mackowiak (2nd base): All-league, district and regional.
Cooper Diamond (OF/P): Scheurer says, “Very solid junior season. Hit around .300 from the left side of the plate and picked up a few wins on the mound in non-league competition. Looking to build upon both.”
Will Simon (3rd base/OF): Scheurer says, “True utility player - a plus defender at any position on the field. Really been working to continue his progress at the plate.”
Colin Cook: “Battling for the vacated catching position from last year” according to Scheurer.
Brandon Scheurer (SS/P) - 1st team All-State as a Sophomore.
Nathan Lehnert (P/1st base/OF): Coming off right shoulder (labrum) surgery from a year ago. Scheurer said, “Was 9-0 as a Freshman and threw a shutout in the semifinals as a Freshman and we're hoping he can regain that form on the mound as a junior. Hits 3rd for us - extremely solid at the plate.”
Tanner Lawson: (P): “Very live arm with quite possibly our best ‘stuff.’ Looking for consistency out of him and he'll be a major contributor.”
Devin Fedewa (P/OF): “Tremendous freshman season - All League and got the start and win in the State Championship game on the mound. Great potential in all areas.”
Sam Mauren: Scheurer said, “Another terrific Freshman season. All League, dangerous at the plate, and like Will Simon is a true utility player defensively - a plus defender literally anywhere on the field. If his arm is healthy, looking for him to make some strides there.”
Seth Hoppes: “Finished last season strong with us as a freshman. Really good OF, solid at the plate. A true competitor. Just does and embraces doing little things that help us win.”
There are also a few new comers for the Shamrock squad.
Ryan Lay (P/UT): “So solid on the mound. Pounds the zone with multiple pitches. Another kid that can play anywhere. Has really went to work on his swing mechanics and is hopeful to compete for major time this season.
Alex Kissane: “Another candidate for our open catching position. Competes at the plate, good base runner and can also help us at multiple positions.”
Chase Fitzsimmons (C/DH): “Also in the mix for our catching position and has loads of potential as a plus hitter.”
Probable Roster for 2018:
12 Colin Cook
12 Cooper Diamond
12 Bret Drake
12 Dan Mackowiak
12 WIll Simon
11 Tanner Lawson
11 Nathan Lehnert
11 Brandon Scheurer
10 Devin Fedewa
10 Seth Hoppes
10 Alex Kissane
10 Ryan Lay
10 Sam Mauren
9 Chase Fitzsimmons
2018 St. Patrick Varsity Baseball Schedule
Day Date Opponent Location Time
Monday 3/26 Webberville Home 4:00
Tuesday 4/10 Morrice Away 4:00
Saturday 4/14 Vestaburg Home 10:00
Monday 4/16 Open
Thursday 4/19 Fulton Home 4:30
Friday 4/20 Ashley Home 4:00
Monday 4/23 Bellevue Away 4:00
Thursday 4/26 Laingsburg Home 4:30
Monday 4/30 P-W Away 4:30
Thursday 5/03 Saranac Away 4:30
Saturday 5/05 Lake Leelanau INV. Away TBA
Monday 5/07 Fowler Away 4:30
Thursday 5/10 Dansville Home 4:30
Saturday 5/12 Davenport INV. Away TBA
Monday 5/14 Bath Away 4:30
Thursday 5/17 Potterville Home 4:30
Saturday 5/19 MPSH INV Away 9:00
Wednesday 5/23 Lakewood Away 4:00
Districts May 29, June 1 or 2
Regionals June 9
QTR Finals June 12
Semi Finals June 14-15
Finals June 16
Photo courtesy of St. Patrick Baseball.