Baseball team opens league season with win

BALDWIN  — Baldwin opened its West Michigan D League baseball season with an 11-7 victory over Onekama Monday.

Alan Clugston was the winning pitcher, going 3 2/3 innings, striking out seven, walking seven and giving up four hits. Da’Ron Copeland finished up in the six-inning game and got the save. He allowed one hit and fanned one in 2 1/3 innings.

Brandon Childress had two hits, including a solo homer, and scored three runs. Copeland had a triple and two RBIs and scored four runs. Tyler Clugston had two hits and two RBIs and was hit by the pitch twice.

Coach Doug Bolles had reason to be upbeat about the first-game victory.

“It’s the first time we’ve beaten (Onekama) in a long time,” he said. “This is my 11th year. I’ve only got a handful maybe at the most that we’ve won. This is a big win for us. I felt if we wanted to be in the upper half of the league, we’d have to bump off a team like Onekama.”

The second game was called in the third inning because of darkness with Onekama leading 8-6. It will be played, in progress, later this season.

“I think it’s Brethren, Manistee Catholic, Onekama,” Bolles said, referring to potential league leaders. “I think we’re right there with Pentwater and Crossroads. If we’re trying to make a move, this was big.”

Baldwin is 1-1. The Panthers lost 13-7 to McBain Northern Michigan on Friday in the season opener.

“You want to win every game but I didn’t have Childress or Da’Ron,” Bolles said. “I’m not making excuses. But like this week, Childress will be going to an AAU (basketball) tournament in California. He’s gone Thursday through Monday so I don’t have him for the next two league doubleheaders. Other guys have to step up.”

The Panthers play at Custer-Mason County Eastern on Thursday and at Big Rapids Crossroads on Monday. Next Thursday (May 1), Baldwin is at Pentwater.