Mitchell Ward had a few reasons for transferring from Macomb Community College to St. Clair County Community College this past fall.
One of the biggest: “I wanted to swing it.”
After spending his freshman season simply as a pitcher for Macomb, Ward – a 2013 Richmond graduate and that year’s Times Herald Baseball Player of the Year – is thriving in his sophomore season, especially at the plate for the Skippers.
Through the first 27 games of the season, Ward was leading the Skippers with a .388 batting average. His 26 hits led the team, as did his 22 RBI, 17 runs scored and two triples. He was tied for the team lead with one home run and six doubles. Those statistics did not include the Skippers’ four games this past week, however, losses against Jackson and Kellogg.
“I didn’t like the drive down to Macomb every day, and I wanted to play with my buddy (and former Richmond teammate) Owen Kratt,” Ward, a pitcher and first baseman said. “It’s like coming back home. It’s a totally different atmosphere from down by the Detroit area to coming to Port Huron.”
Ward is one of 13 Blue Water Area players on the SC4 roster this spring, as coach Scott Tesluck has recruited the area well as he nears the end of his second full season leading the program.
St. Clair’s Connor Winckler and Blake Meldrum, Port Huron Northern’s Nate Campau, Sam Wagner and Luke Borkovich, Richmond’s Ward, Kratt and Craig Black, Marysville’s Nick Watson and Jordan Dietz, Memphis’ Justin Jaehn, Armada’s Logan Vettraino and Imlay City’s Zach Stone make up the local contingent, something that’s contributing to good team chemistry despite the team’s 11-20 record.
“The team just has a ton of fun together,” Ward said. “Even when we’re not winning – nobody likes losing – but we still have a good time with each other.”
With 12 Michigan Community College Athletic Association games left, there’s still time for the Skippers to make a run at a spot in the regional tournament, but it will take some work as they currently have a 4-10 conference record.
Among those remaining games are two at Macomb on May 5, a doubleheader Ward is looking forward to.
“It will be kind of fun, I think,” Ward said. “It will be a game we want to win, because they’re kind of like our rivals. I still have quite a few buddies on the team, so it would be fun to get the win down there.
“It could end up meaning if we get to the regional or not.”
As for beyond this season, Ward is still weighing his options, and a good season has given him more.
“Siena Heights, Saginaw Valley and Northwood have all been in contact with me,” Ward said. “It’s just a matter of where I end up at the end of the season. I was on their radar because I did pretty well last year pitching wise. Coach Tesluck knows a lot of recruiters pretty well for big schools. I did pretty well in the fall, and I had to prove myself in the spring.
“(Scouts are) out there, I just have to finish off strong this season.”
Contact Paul Costanzo at (810) 989-6251 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PaulCostanzo.