Baldwin players earn honors from West Michigan D League

BALDWIN  — Freshman Tyler Clugston and junior Clay Bowens have received honors from the West Michigan D League for the 2014 baseball season.

Clugston was all-conference second team and Bowens earned honorable mention honors.

A first baseman, Clugston batted .444 and led the team in doubles and RBIs.

“He’s one of the best freshmen I’ve had,” Baldwin coach Doug Bolles said. “He did a really good job and didn’t play like a freshman, but played like an upperclassmen. I’m looking forward to having him come back. He’s a pleasure to coach. He’s a 4.0 kid in the classroom.”

Bowens batted .364 for the Panthers.

“He was steady in the outfield for us,” Bolles said. “He played center field and left field. He really came on. He was our most improved player from last year. I’ve never seen a kid get hit so much by a pitch. He got hit eight times this year. He got on base for us. He did a lot of good things. He’s really improved, got better and worked in the offseason.”

Bowens played shortstop in the districts.

“He wanted to play in the infield and we made adjustments,” Bolles said. “He has good speed and range in the outfield.”

Brandon Childress batted over. 400 but, with AAU activity for basketball, only played eight games.

Baldwin was 5-8 overall and 5-7 in the league.

Looking at next year, Baldwin graduates only one senior.

“There’s three kids coming up from the junior high,” Bolles said. “If everybody comes back...my only question is if Brandon is coming back because of basketball.”

Bolles is hoping his team will be a strong competitor next season in the league.

“We had one bad game with Brethren,” Bolles said. “Otherwise, we were in every game we played. We’re looking for some nice things.” 

Better weather and less canceled games will help, Bolles acknowledged.