GRAND RAPIDS – Gladwin traveled to Grand Rapids this weekend to compete in the Exposure at the Grands. The focus of this event was to bring college coaches and potential players together. Coach Terry Brokoff mentioned that there were as many as 10 different coaches at some of the games asking about his players. The games were held at Calvin University, Caledonia High School and the Gainey Athletic Complex.
The past week was kind of bitter sweet for several reasons. The Thunder played in Saginaw on Tuesday, which was the one-year anniversary of their state championship. Their opponent was the Midland Tribe, a team made up of players with various levels of college baseball experience. One member of the Tribe is Carson Longstreth, the center fielder on last year’s state champion American Legion team. Longstreth homered in the third inning of game one, which was an 8-4 Thunder win.
The season came to an end for the Thunder on Saturday which meant that they were saying goodbye to several players. Hunter Merillat, Drew Grove, Dane Smitz, Reed Raymond and Lane Peters will all be too old for American Legion ball next summer. Merillat, who has been with the team for five years, led the Thunder with eight homeruns this season. Raymond batted .433 on the season which was tops on the team. Smitz was second at .343 while Peters was tied for third at .333. Merillat was also the best record on the mound at 9-1 for the season. Brokoff said all of the departing players will be missed.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there will be no picnic this year so the team went out for a nice dinner at a steak house in Grand Rapids on Friday night. Brokoff mentioned that he was happy with this years results considering everything that they were up against. “We had great participation and effort all year. We only had 14 guys on the team, but never played with less than 12 present.” He went on to say that the dedication on this year’s team was great. “We played some very good baseball against some very good teams.”
After going 3-1 over the weekend the Thunder finished the season with a 29-7 record. Other top performers for the Thunder this season included:
Jarrett Inscho batting .311 and going 6-1 on the mound. Carson Oldani hit .315 and had 15 RBIs. Ethan Shea batted .333.