Clarkston family spends time at Hollister fields

As a family: Jon Killewald of Clarkston goes after the ball during workouts earlier this week at Hollister fields. (Star/John Raffel)
As a family: Jon Killewald of Clarkston goes after the ball during workouts earlier this week at Hollister fields. (Star/John Raffel)

BALDWIN — It’s a warm, dry Saturday afternoon in Baldwin. All is basically quiet at Hollister Park. But there’s one exception at the field where Little League baseball is played.

But there’s one young exception.

On the dirt itself is a youngster running around all over the place. He’s fielding groundballs and throwing them to home. He’s diving for line drives and throwing the ball back to the plate. He’s running backwards, forwards or to the side to catch a popfly.

The batter is his mother. In the dugout, his father and grandmother are casting a watchful eye.

Why is he doing this?

Simple, he wants to be a high school baseball player.

The dad is Todd Killewald of Clarkston. His son is Jon Killewald. They own property by Bowman Bridge in Baldwin. It’s only five miles from the ball diamond. They have 10 acres and a trailer there and come up during the summer as a retreat.

They been coming to the ball diamond, working on Jon’s baseball skills, every day they’re in the area.

“He really wants to get into the (spring) high school (program) that’s down there in Clarkston,” Todd said. “To make the team down there, you have to be chosen. Unfortunately they only have an x amount of spots. You have to be the cream of the crop.”

Jon will be in the ninth grade and right now will be bidding to make the freshman team. There is no summer program.

“Jon’s in summer camp but as far as athletics, no,” Todd said. “All the kids are busy.”

Jon also plays football.

Through the spring, summer and fall the Killewald’s are up in Lake County about six times.

“We’re here four days five days a week, sometimes nine days. It depends on if we decide to take our vacation up here,” Todd said. “We love it. We go canoeing and go to Bowman Canoe rental.”

They’re usually at the diamond for at least an hour. Todd is left-handed but said he wants to play shortstop or second base, a rarity even in high school ball for a lefty.

“He’s a right-handed bowler but a left hand golfer, left hand thrower. He can golf right handed too,” Todd said.

His wife Collette was hitting the ball and Kitty, his mom as watching from the bench.

They’ll be up a few more times including for Labor Day. But all the time is worth it, Todd said.

“How else are you going to get on a team? You’re not go to pick up a bat and think you’re going to hit the ball, (immediately),” he said. “That’s why I’m out there pitching to him.”