Grand Blanc Travel Baseball, following up on it’s successful inaugural season, will be holding tryouts for the 2011 season on August 7 and 8 as well as August 11 at Grand Blanc High School’s varsity baseball field. Tryout times will be as follows:
- Saturday August 7th & Sunday August 8th
- 10U/11U – 9am to 11am
- 12U/13U – 11:30am – 1:30pm
- 14U/15U – 2pm – 4pm
- Wednesday August 11th
- All ages – 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Players will need to attend two of the three dates listed to be considered for a spot on a team.
A player’s age by April 30, 2011 will determine eligibility. Players are asked to bring bats and gloves to the tryout as well as long pants. They will put through a myriad of drills including fielding, throwing and hitting. Those interested in pitching for their respective teams will also have the opportunity to throw for the coaches.
Grand Blanc High School Varsity Baseball Field is located on Jewett Trail off Holly Road behind the main high school building.
The 15u Cats played in their first tournament of the season and ended up placing third at the North Branch tournament with a 3-1 record.
The Cats tournament started with a forfeit win due to a last minute no-show. Their next game was against Otisville and the GB squad came out on top with a convincing 11-1 win. Matt McCloskey and Tyler Dunklee combined to throw a 5 inning no-hitter, with the only Otisville run coming in the top of the 5th due to two Cats errors. The Cats offense continued to be well balanced, with every Cats batter having either a run scored or an RBI. The Cats were led by Nate Morales, Boyd Levitt, Phil Nanasy and Corey Lee. Morales and Levitt had 2 hits each, Levitt and Nanasy had 2 RBI’s each, and Lee had 1 hit, 2 walks, two RBI’s and scored two runs.
The second game of the tournament saw the Cats drop a 6-2 decision to eventual tournament champion Frankenmuth. The Cats defensive woes (6 errors), combined with suddenly cold bats, were the key factors in the loss. The only bright spot for the Cats offense was Corey Lee, who reached base in all three of his plate appearances (1 hit and 2 walks) and drove in a run.
The Cats took on the Rochester Red Sox in the 3rd place game that featured consistent offense by both teams, and clutch pitching at the end of the game for the Cats. The Cats opened the game with 3 straights hits by Corey Lee, Nate Morales and Tyler Dunklee that led to an early 3 run lead. Rochester came back and scored 3 runs in each of the next two innings to take a 6-3 lead. The Cats scored 4 runs in the 3rd inning, with the first 5 batters reaching base. Boyd Levitt drove in the first two runs and two batters later Phil Nanasy just missed a home run to straight away center as he drove in two more runs with a long double. Rochester scored 1 run in the bottom of the 3rd inning to tie the game at 7-7, and with the bases loaded and one out, they were threatening to blow the game wide open. Matt McCloskey came in to pitch and retired the next two Rochester batters to end the threat. In the top of the fourth inning, the Cats had runners at 2nd and 3rd with two outs when Lee delivered a clutch single to right to drive in the Cats final two runs. McCloskey allowed one run over the next two innings to close out the game for the Cats and secure a hard fought 9-8 victory.
For the tournament the Cats were led by Matt McCloskey and Corey Lee. McCloskey pitched 5 innings of no-hit ball (with no balls being hit out of the infield), and only allowed one run. Lee had a great tournament offensively, hitting for an .800 average, with 4 hits, 4 walks, 4 runs scored, and 4 RBI’s.
At the 23rd Annual Grand Blanc Parks and Rec Baseball Tournament, the Grand Blanc Cats 13U squad scratched their way to a 3-2 record in a loaded bracket of quality teams from all over Michigan.
Crosstown rival Fenton was first up for the Bobcats and the red and black handled them easily 12-2. Curtis Frye and Alex Rye teamed up as they have been all year on the mound and the righty/lefty combo allowed but a single base hit and recorded eight Tiger whiffs. Shortstop Ryan Bartkowiak banged out a pair of doubles and Nick Williams went deep for a two-run blast for the home team.
The Berkley Cubs were in town for the weekend and they got a quick fours runs on the Cats in game two of the tournament, winning 7-4. Cam Alvado and Nick Scherba each had RBI singles for GB.
The third game saw Ryan Bartkowiak hit a home run and strike out three in two relief innings as Grand Blanc topped Lake Orion 8-4. Curtis Frye got the start and held the Dragons to no hits with five Ks of his own over three innings of work. He also had a couple of hits in the game as did Anthony Barbaretta.
Game four was a wild one, with the Bocats having a tough second inning that saw them allow seven runs on four errors as they dropped the contest to the Dearorn Crush, 10-7. Bartkowiak hit another homer for Grand Blanc and Barbaretta had three hits as well.
The Cats came to play in their last game of the tourney, trouncing Linden 15-0. Lefty Parker Barnett took the hill for Mike Bartkowiak’s squad and limited the Eagles to one hit while fanning five. Bartkowiak finished a strong overall tournament with a pair of two-baggers. Frye had a double and a triple and Barbaretta also concluded his tournament on a high note with three more hits on the weekend.
The third place finish saw the Grand Blanc 13U team hit .405 and struck out 34 hitters over the five games.
The 15u Cats closed out their GFBL season with a convincing 10-0 win over the Fenton Tigers. The game was called after 5 innings when the mercy rule was invoked.
Boyd Levitt dominated on the mound, throwing 68 pitches in a 5 inning complete game. Levitt had 8 K’s, no walks and went to a 3 ball count on only 3 batters. Levitt allowed 3 hits (one an infield single) and only 3 balls were hit to the outfield. The defense played flawlessly behind Levitt, handling all of their chances in the field perfectly.
Offensively, the Cats continued to pound the ball, with 12 hits in 5 innings, and 5 of their runs came after 2 outs. Every member of the Cats lineup reached base as Ryan Scannell, Brent DeHaan and Chase Buckler led the way with 2 hits each.
The Cats finished second in their age group in the GFBL and begin tournament play July 16-18 in North Branch.
The 12U Grand Blanc Cats Travel team earned 2nd place in the 23rd Annual Grand Blanc Parks and Recreation Tournament on July 9-10-11 at Creasy Bicentennial Park in Grand Blanc.
Grand Blanc’s 13U Cats travel baseball team wrapped up their Greater Flint Baseball League season this past week with a pair of games that saw their overall record end at a strong 9-2 mark.
On June 30, Mike Bartkowiak’s squad made the trek to the Clio Youth Baseball Complex for a contest versus the Mustangs. Curtis Frye got the start for Grand Blanc and allowed but one unearned run in the first inning. Frye also was the star of the game at the plate with a pair of doubles, but the Cats, despite having runners in scoring position on a couple of occasions, could not push a run across and dropped the contest, 1-0. Cam Alvado chipped in with a double in the game.
With the close loss to Clio still stinging, the Cats made their way home on July 6 to American Legion Field in Mt. Morris and took their frustrations out on North Branch, posting a 16-1 four inning win.
Ryan Bartkowiak took the mound and allowed one hit and one earned run, striking out 10. He helped his own cause with a bases loaded triple, while Nick Williams had a triple among his two hits and Alvado had a pair as well.
Grand Blanc finished their GFBL season a sparkling 8-2, good for second place in the 13U Sandy Koufax division. Their finish also qualified them for the American Legion regionals to be played the week of July 19 in either Brighton or Howell.
They continue their schedule in the annual Grand Blanc Parks and Recreation Tournament at Creasy Bicentennial Park on July 9 at 5:00 pm.
In a game played at the GB Varsity field, the 15U Cats ended a 2 game slide by coming out on top over the Fenton squad in a 18-17 slugfest. The Fenton team jumped out to an early 7-3 lead. The Cats scored 12 combined runs in the 4th and 5th innings to take 6 run lead, only to give up that lead in an error filled 6th inning that saw the Fenton squad tie the game. The game went to extra innings with the international tie breaker rule in effect. Fenton scored twice in the top of the 7th and appeared to have the game in hand, but the Cats responded once more and scored 3 runs in their half of the inning for the win. Corey Lee drove in the tieing and winning runs with a bases loaded, 2 out, 2 strike shot to the right-centerfield gap.
Offensively, several Cats had big games. Brent DeHaan had 2 hits (one a bunt single) and scored three times. Matt Walker had 2 hits, scored twice and drove in 2 runs. Boyd Levitt had 3 hits (2 doubles), scored twice and had 2 RBI’s. Phil Nanasy scored twice and had two hits, one of them a double to left centerfield that just missed clearing the fence at the 352 foot sign. Matt McCloskey scored twice, had 2 doubles and 4 RBI’s.
Corey Lee was the star of the game with two 2-strike hits (including the game winner), a walk, a sac bunt, a deep sac fly to centerfield, two runs scored, and 3 RBI’s. Lee also made the defensive play of the game at first base, with a spectacular over-the-head diving catch in foul territory by the right field bullpen to end the Fenton threat in the 5th inning.
Special mention goes out to Alex Cesal who moved up from the 14U squad to fill in for the Cats, who had two players out with injuries. Cesal played the entire game in centerfield, had a double, scored once on his own and twice as a pinch runner, and had a long RBI flyball to centerfield.
In their second of five tournaments this summer, the 12U Grand Blanc Cats traveled up the road to Kearsley High School for the Kearsley Summer Slamarama Tournament on June 18-20. Despite a dramamtic comeback from a four run, two out deficit in the finals, the Cats could not complete the rally and fell short to the Richfield Renegades, 10-9 to take second place.
In the opener on Friday, GB took the field and thoroughly dominated Fowlerville 15-0. Virtually every Cat got into the act at the plate; Cam Porritt lead the way with three hits, Andy Lendzion began what would be an epic tournament for him with two triples and four RBI and both Austen Mandernach and Annie Walker had two hits apiece to pace GB.
Saturday’s first game was more of the same for Grand Blanc as the Cats rolled to another 15-0 win, this time over The Sting. Two Cats went deep in the contest as outfielder Austen Mandernach blasted a two run shot over the right field fence and first baseman Lendzion drilled one of his own, also to deep right. Evan Latture chipped in with a two-RBI double in the lopsided affair.
It was Matt McKean who caught fire in the third game against Otisville as he turned on a fastball and drove a no-doubt, 2 run homer deep into the woods beyond the left field fence in the fourth inning to lead Grand Blanc to an 11-8 victory. The contest was tight until the 5th when the Cats got rolling with three straight hits from Walker, Brendan Bush and Paul Joseph. Later in the inning, Kyle LaValle ripped a single to right, scoring two as Grand Blanc held on for the win.
The Cats marched into the finals only to come up against an old foe, the Richfield Renegades. GB was very familiar with Richfield, having dropped their league opener to the Renegades in close game 5-3, despite only having 8 players suited up for the contest. Keith Joseph’s Cats showed they were ready in the first stanza, scoring four runs courtesy of some erratic Richfield pitching and timely singles by Lendzion and McKean. The red and black, however, was stymied through the middle innings and could only muster two runs from the second through the sixth. Meanwhile, Richfield heated up and pushed eight across themselves and moved out to a 10-6 lead.
The seventh inning rally for Grand Blanc began when Nick Clarke was hit by a pitch. Two consecutive strikeouts had the Cats still down four runs before Walker drew a base on ball and Joseph delivered a two-run single to cut the Renegade lead to 10-8. Bush kept the rally alive with a single of his own, moving Jospeh to third. A wild pitch saw the Bobcat standout scamper home to close to within one run of Richfield.
With first base open, Richfield elected to intentionally walk Lendzion, who had been on a torrid hitting pace for the entire tournament. With two outs, LaValle blasted a ground ball between first and second. Richfield first baseman Jared Duplanty bobbled the ball momentarily but beat the speedy LaValle to first by a half-step, thwarting the Grand Blanc comeback.
After the game, Annie Walker was selected by Richfield as Grand Blanc’s most outstanding player in the final game.
With three tournaments still on tap for the 12U squad and the Grand Blanc Parks and Recreation Tournament scheduled for next weekend, the team is looking to an upcoming weekend roadtrip to western Michigan as the key to their season. They travel to Grand Haven for the Grand Haven Summer Blast Tournament, which will attract some the best talent in the state and be a real test for the club.
While the Clio game was decided in the opening two innings as Grand Blanc staked itself to a 5-0 lead and held on for the win, the game was highlighted by a Bobcat triple play in the sixth inning.
After the first Mustang hitter drew a leadoff walk and the second was hit by a pitch, the next batter smoked a line drive between second and third base. Paul Joseph, playing deep in the hole at shortstop, leaped to stab the liner with a sensational catch. He turned and fired a strike to second baseman Annie Walker as she covered second base, forcing the lead Clio runner out. She did not hesitate and threw a laser to first baseman Andy Lendzion, nipping the Clio runner trying to return to first base.
The 12U Cats get back in action on July 6 against the Mid-Michigan Bandits before heading to Bicentennial Park in Grand Blanc for the annual GB Parks and Recreation Tournament on July 10-11.
The 12U Cats began this week rolling past the Elba Bulldogs 21-3 on Monday.
Cam Porritt and Annie Walker combined on a one-hitter for the victory. Andy Lendzion continued his torrid June hitting by stroking three doubles to lead the Cats. Kyle Lavallee had a double and two singles while Austen Mandernach and Paul Joseph contributed a pair of hits as well.
The ‘Cats continue their action this Thursday against the Lapeer Outlaws.