DEWITT, Mich (WLNS) – There is eager energy and enthusiasm at DeWitt’s baseball practice and it mostly comes from a group of young athletes who are conditioned for their season to end at any moment. The Panthers have taken that mindset and put it into every game they play, dominating their way to a 23-3 record, outscoring their opponents by 173 runs, and averaging only giving up three runs a game.
So what’s helped them continue to have consistent success this year?
“For me honestly it’s how well our defense has been playing I mean all of us know how to make plays in the field,” said senior third baseman Andrew Debri. “When pitchers are throwing strikes and they’re allowing the batter to put the ball in play it’s pretty nice knowing that our guys are going to be able to make plays for them.”
“We’ve just been successful in a variety of different ways just hitting, pitching, and defense it’s all been solid throughout, and it’s helped us win a lot of games and helped us win a lot of different games with each of the three,” said senior catcher Grant Uyl.
The success this team has had this year has brought a lot of excitement to the DeWitt baseball program but for the players themselves, it’s Tuesday’s announcement of the ten teams who will be competing in the 59th Dean Shippey Capital Diamond Classic that has them fired up.
“As coaches, we talk all the time about our 2014 season and 2016 and 2018 and all those deep tournament runs that we’ve had the pleasure of being involved in and how much fun it is and how you get stories from those games that you’ll talk about for the rest of your life,” said DeWitt head coach Alan Shankel. “For these guys to have their chance to make their memories we’re just really excited about it.”
In the 2019 Diamond Classic, DeWitt lost in the first round 1-0 to Portland St. Patrick and the memory of that loss has stayed with this team.
“It was a really not embarrassing but frustrating way to go out like that, I don’t wanna go out that way,” said Debri. “I know Grant (Uyl) was a part of that team as well and if we remember what it felt like to lose like that in the first round it should give us some motivation going into this year’s Diamond Classic.”
Your 6 Sports Team will keep you updated on the announcement of Diamond Classic bracket.