Sports

Whitecaps Turn Away Cubs in 2-1 Win

Comstock Park, Mich. – The West Michigan Whitecaps stepped up in the biggest moments, as a play at the plate in the ninth inning served as the key moment in a 2-1 win over the South Bend Cubs on Wednesday night in front of 6,986 fans at LMCU Ballpark.

Leading 2-1 in the ninth, a ground ball from South Bend’s Luis Verdugo nearly changed the entire complexion of Wednesday’s game, but a slick play from shortstop Trei Cruz perfect throw to catcher Josh Crouch cut down baserunner Brennan Davis attempting to score the tying run as West Michigan preserved the lead on the way to breaking a three-game losing streak.

The scoring was limited Wednesday, as both starting pitchers found a way to post quality starts in the contest. The Whitecaps posted their only runs in the opening inning on an RBI-single by Jace Jung before Cruz lifted a sacrifice fly to score Jake Holton. West Michigan starting pitcher Carlos Guzman tossed a brilliant six innings to tie for the longest start by a ‘Caps pitcher this season, allowing three hits without walking a batter and striking out four. Cubs right Porter Hodge threw six frames of his own, allowing just two runs while striking out six. After two scoreless innings from the West Michigan bullpen, lefty closer Andrew Magno preserved the victory by collecting his tenth save of the season.

Guzman (8-6) is now tied for third in the Midwest League with eight wins, while Hodge (2-2) takes his second loss. The ‘Caps improve to 61-55 and 30-20 in the second half, while the Cubs fall to 65-51 and 31-19 in the second half. The Whitecaps sit two games back of the Lake County Captains for first place in the Midwest League East second-half standings. Holton and infielder Carlos Irigoyen each collected a pair of his in the victory, while Irigoyen’s multi-hit game marked his first for the ‘Caps this season.

High School All Star Classic – June 13th, 2022

MUSKEGON, Mich. –Marsh Field, in cooperation with the Muskegon Clippers, is hosting the 2022 Greater Muskegon High School All Star Classic on Monday, June 13, 2022 at 7:05pm.

The All Star Classic features the best high school senior baseball players along the Lakeshore from Ludington to Grand Haven.

The players will be split into two teams. The Teams feature senior players from the Reeths Puffer, Mona Shores, Muskegon Catholic Central, Fruitport, Hesperia, Montague, Spring Lake, Ludington, Western Michigan Christian Ravenna, Fremont, Holton and Grand Haven.

The coaches for the All Star teams will be Paul Herremans, Head Coach at Ravenna High School and Butch Attig, Head Coach at Reeths Puffer High school.

Game tickets are $5 for adults; $3 for Senior Citizens, $2 for students; children 12 and under are free. Game tickets can be purchased right at the gate of Marsh Field on Laketon Avenue in Muskegon.

All proceeds from the game will benefit the Marsh Field Improvement Fund

Since 1916 baseball fans have visited Marsh Field to watch baseball. From its heyday when the Muskegon Lassies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League played here to the days of the Muskegon Reds playing the Detroit Tigers, Marsh Field has been “the Home of Muskegon Baseball”. Now days, Marsh Field is host to over 100 baseball games a year and is the home of the summer collegiate baseball league team, the Muskegon Clippers.

For more information visit our website at www.muskegonclippers.com or join our Facebook page by searching Muskegon Clippers.

Muskegon Clippers Baseball Opening Day Tomorrow

MUSKEGON, Mich. – Muskegon’s summer collegiate baseball team, the Muskegon Clippers, will be returning for another exciting season of baseball at historic Marsh Field in Muskegon. Opening day will be Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at 7:05pm.

The Muskegon Clippers open their season with a 6-game home stand with three games vs. the Detroit Jet Box and three games vs. the Royal Oak Leprechauns.

The Clippers are members of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League which is a developmental league for college athletes from all over the country. These student athletes are looking to hone their skills, and possibly get spotted by baseball scouts as they hope for an opportunity at the next level.

The Clippers will play a 42 game schedule during the months of June and July. With 19 home games, there are many opportunities to enjoy Americas past time.

This season is full of great happenings at the ball park.

Opening Night
Opening night for the Muskegon Clippers is, Tuesday June 7, 2022 at historic Marsh Field on Laketon Avenue in Muskegon. The Clippers will play the Detroit Jet Box. Gates open at 6:00 pm; first pitch is at 7:05pm.

Free Magnet Schedule Giveaway
Opening night is also free magnet game schedule giveaway night! Each family through the gate will receive a FREE 2022 Clippers game schedule while supplies last.

The Fan Experience – More Than Just Baseball
The Clippers have gotten rave reviews from baseball experts and casual fans alike. Not only is there great baseball played, but the fans love the historic ballpark and the fun and interactive atmosphere that is created during the games.

Part of the excitement includes:

  • Walk up music for the players
  • Sing along for fans
  • Our famous Beer Batter
  • Contests and Games for fans between innings
  • Dance along with fans
  • Guests performing the national anthem
  • Kids participating on the field in the introduction of players.
  • And finally, fans are allowed to run the bases after the games.

Concessions and Team Merchandise
The Clippers have a great line up of ball park food, soft drinks, and ice cold Budweiser products. And of course, the Clippers will have team gear and merchandise available for purchase.

Team Roster
The Clippers have completed their 30 – man roster and have signed players from Universities like, Michigan State, Western Michigan, Indiana State, and San Jose State.

The roster will also feature several standouts from West Michigan including former players from Zeeland East High School , Grandville High School , Forest Hills Northern High School , Forest Hills Eastern High School, Rockford High School and Hudsonville High School.

The Clippers are coached by former Muskegon Clipper player and new manager Logan Fleener, new pitching coach Deon Felger and legendary High School coach, Brian Wright as Assistant Coach. The Clippers General Manager is Walt Gawkowski. The Clippers are owned by Pete Gawkowski.

Ticket Information
Game tickets are $5 for adults; $3 for Senior Citizens, $3 for students; $2 for children 5-12. Children 5 and under are free..

For more information contact Pete Gawkowski at 231-638-7696 or visit our website at www.muskegonclippers.com or join our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/muskegonclippers

HISTORIC MARSH FIELD:
Historic Marsh Field is 106 years old and continues its storied history by playing host to the Muskegon Clippers and over 100 other baseball ball games throughout the year. Over the years, Marsh Field has been the home of the Muskegon Lassies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the old Muskegon Clippers, a farm team of the New York Yankees and the Muskegon Reds a farm team of the Detroit Tigers.

ABOUT THE MUSKEGON CLIPPERS:
The Muskegon Clippers are members of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate Baseball League which is a developmental league for college athletes from all over the country. A Muskegon Clippers get rave reviews by baseball experts and fans alike for exciting baseball, low priced family fun and the interactive atmosphere generated while watching America’s pastime at historic Marsh Field.

Lumberjacks Season Comes to End after Loss in Eastern Conference Final

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Muskegon Lumberjacks had their 2021-22 season come to an end after the Madison Capitols eliminated the Lumberjacks out of the playoffs by a final score of 8-to-4 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday, May 12, 2022, from Mercy Health Arena, taking the best-of-five series 3-2. The Jacks started out hot in the first after a power play goal from Joey Larson, but six unanswered goals from Madison propelled the Caps to their first-ever berth in the Clark Cup Final. Other Lumberjack tallies include goals from Jake Braccini, Ben Strinden and Owen Mehlenbacher. With the loss, Muskegon’s season will come to a close as Madison advances to the Clark Cup Final and a meeting with the Sioux City Musketeers from the Western Conference.

Thank You, Fans!
With the 2021-22 Muskegon Lumberjacks season coming to an end, the Lumberjacks want to say ‘thank you’ to the best fans in the USHL! We appreciate your support for each and every game and we look forward to the 2022-23 season! Thank you, Muskegon Lumberjacks Fans!

That’s All, Folks!
Another full season is in the books for the Muskegon Lumberjacks, in which they qualified for the postseason for the eighth time in franchise history since the 2010-11 inaugural season and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the third consecutive playoff season. The Jacks had a rocky start to begin the year, going 2-7-1-2 in the first 12 games, but rebounded exponentially in the middle of the season by posting a 20-3-1-0 record in their next 24 contests and climbed out of last place all the way to first. Included in their ascent to the top was tying the franchise record with an eight-game winning streak, smashing the franchise record for the longest home-game winning streak with 10 consecutive victories, and setting the record for the longest point streak at 13 contests. Head Coach Mike Hamilton earned his 100th career win behind the Jacks bench on Nov. 19, 2021, while three players notched their 100th career points, those being Quinn Hutson, Jack Williams, and Jacob Guevin.

Be sure to follow the Muskegon Lumberjacks on social media!
Facebook – Muskegon Lumberjacks
Twitter – @MuskegonJacks
Instagram – @muskegonjacks
Tik Tok – muskegonlumberjacks

Muskegon Hockey Legend Todd Robinson’s No. 19 Jersey to be Retired on Fury Night

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MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Muskegon Lumberjacks will honor Fury legend and former Lumberjacks assistant coach Todd Robinson by retiring his Fury number 19 jersey on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, during the team’s game against the Chicago Steel on Fury Night.

Although the current reincarnation of Muskegon hockey competes in the USHL, Lumberjacks President of Business Operations Andrea Rose felt now was the right time to honor Robinson and his accomplishments during his playing days with the Fury.

“It’s the right thing to do,” said Rose. “Muskegon has a tremendous hockey history, and the Muskegon Fury days bring a sense of nostalgia that is unrivaled. Retiring Todd Robinson’s jersey isn’t a business decision, but a community decision. It’s only fitting that we hang the banner on Fury Night.”

“The decision to retire his jersey was a no-brainer.”

Often described as a local pro hockey legend, Robinson cemented himself into Muskegon sports history as the second-most leading point scorer in Fury history with 834 points across seven seasons in the UHL.

His name is ubiquitous with Fury fans after scoring the second-most goals in team history with 222 and more assists than anyone in team history with 612 helpers.

Robinson also set season records with 123 points in the 2006-07 season that are the most points recorded by any player in a single year.

A champion at every level, Robinson won three Colonial Cups with the Fury, which includes scoring the overtime game-winning goal in the 2002 Colonial Cup final in front of a sold-out, raucous crowd at L.C. Walker Arena – now renamed Mercy Health Arena – and subsequently named playoff MVP for the championship goal.

Todd Nelson, who coached the Fury to back-to-back UHL titles in 2004 and 2005, could not hold back on who Robinson was as a player.

“Coaching [Robinson] was a lot of fun because you got to see the creative side of him as a player,” said Nelson, currently an assistant coach with the NHL’s Dallas Stars. “The biggest thing that stands out to me is that he never wants to lose. He’s a fierce competitor, and that’s why he had success winning championships.”

When the Fury underwent a full rebrand to the Lumberjacks of the IHL in 2008, Robinson continued his accomplished hockey career by registering another 223 points and was tabbed team captain for two seasons before the franchise ceased operations in Muskegon and relocated to Evansville, Ind.

In five of his nine seasons in Muskegon, Robinson was able to tally at least 100 points, making him the only player with the most 100-point seasons in the Muskegon era of franchise history.

After brief stints with the Odessa Jackalopes, Evansville Icemen, Allen Americans, and Tulsa Oilers, Robinson hung up the skates and retired from playing to become a full-time assistant coach with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks for three years beginning in 2014.

As an assistant under bench boss Todd Krygier, Robinson used his wealth of experience and knowledge of the game to help guide the game’s future stars, such as Andrei Svechnikov, who was selected second overall in the 2018 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes.

In a 2015 MLive.com article, Robinson recognized what the city of Muskegon means to him, which included meeting his wife and starting a family in the Port City.

“Muskegon is a great place,” touted Robinson. “I pretty much grew up here. I came here when I was 21 and lived here since. I love it here.”

“I feel like I’m a part of the community now and have a lot of friends and a lot of great memories.”

Robinson will be the third player to have his sweater honored by the Muskegon Fury in franchise history, joining Scott Feasby (#20, 2004) and Robin Bouchard (#32, 2019). 

He also becomes just the 12th player in Muskegon hockey history to ever have their jersey number retired, joining an incredible group that includes former Mohawks Moose Lallo, Lynn Margarit, Joe Kastelic, Gary Ford, Bryan McLay, and Bob Tombari, and former Lumberjacks Jock Callander, Scott Gruhl and Dave Michayluk in the IHL era.

Robinson’s number will be retired by the former Fury franchise only and will not affect the current Lumberjacks.

The Lumberjacks host the Chicago Steel on Friday, Feb. 25 for Fury Night, honoring Muskegon hockey history coupled with Robinson’s jersey number retirement. 

The Jacks will compete in specialty Fury jerseys which will be auctioned off after the game.

Lumberjacks Sign Sacha Boisvert to Tender Agreement

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Muskegon Lumberjacks have announced today the signing of forward Sacha Boisvert to a tender agreement for the 2022-23 season.

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Boisvert, the 6-foot-1, 161-pound forward has appeared in 20 games with Mount St. Charles Academy 15U during the 2021-22 regular season, totaling 24 goals and 19 assists for 43 points. The Trois-Rivieres, Quebec native has yet to announce his NCAA commitment.

“He’s a big-time player who can score, shoot, change games with hits, and impact the game in many different ways,” said Lumberjacks President of Hockey Operations Steve Lowe. “We expect Sacha to make an immediate impact in our lineup for next year and we are excited to add a big-time talent like Sacha to the Muskegon Lumberjacks.”

When asked about what makes Boisvert such a talented player, Lumberjacks General Manager Jim McGroarty did not hold back on what he likes about Boisvert’s skill.

“Sacha’s skating and vision put him in on another level because he creates so much offense off the rush and he is incredibly difficult to defend against,” said McGroarty. “The first time I saw Sacha play, his physicality is what caught my eye because he has the ability to make players around him better and is overall a complete player.”

Furthermore, Boisvert’s current coach with Mount St. Charles 15U Scott Gainey expressed similar sentiments.

“I like how he competes every day, even in practice, making himself and everyone around him better,” said Gainey. “He’s got all of the intangibles, the skillset is there and he’s a complete package.”

Not only is Sacha built for the ‘now’, but he’s also equipped with a substantial future ahead of him. Matt Plante, the Co-Director of Mount St. Charles Hockey, believes his playing style makes him a top, alluring prospect.

“He’s got a lot of upside and he plays with an edge,” said Plante. “He’s certainly an attractive prospect both at the collegiate level and at the pro level down the road.”

A native of Quebec, Boisvert credited current Lumberjacks defenseman, Jacob Guevin, who also hails from La Belle Province, as one of the deciding factors on signing with the Lumberjacks.

“I knew [Guevin] played there and that it was a really good spot and he just reached out,” said Boisvert. “When he reached out, I did my research and I made my decision to go [to Muskegon] because of the coaching staff and I just liked everyone.”

After getting to know Boisvert through the recruiting process, Lumberjacks Head Coach Mike Hamilton is ecstatic about the all-inclusive hockey player.

“We’re excited to get a high-end, quality player like Sacha,” said Hamilton. “It’s been a pleasure getting to know Sacha during the recruiting process and he’s a dedicated, driven individual and we look forward to him making an impact next year.”

Muskegon Clippers Announce New Coaching Staff for 2022 Season

Muskegon’s Summer Collegiate Baseball Team Preparing for Upcoming Season

MUSKEGON, Mich. – The Muskegon Clippers are proud to announce that Logan Fleener has been named the Clippers’ Head Coach for the 2022 Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League season replacing long time Head Coach Walt Gawkowski.

A native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Logan was a four-year letter winner at Blackman High School prior to beginning his collegiate career at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. While a member of the Roosevelt University Baseball Team, Logan served as team captain and was selected as a First Team All-Conference shortstop. Logan returns to West Michigan after spending the summer of 2016 as a member of the Muskegon Clippers.

His coaching resume’ includes stints as an assistant coach at Roosevelt University, Trevecca Nazarene University and his current position at Tennessee Wesleyan College. In addition, Logan spent the summer of 2018 as an assistant coach with the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods Baseball League.

Logan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Roosevelt University and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Dion Felger enters his first season as the Pitching Coach for the Muskegon Clippers. Dion enjoyed a successful collegiate playing career from 2014-2018 at Roane State Community College, Youngstown State University, and Ohio Valley University. Prior to joining the Clippers, he was a private pitching instructor in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. Dion graduated in 2019 from Youngstown State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.

The only holdover from last season’s staff, the longtime coach at Shelby High School, Brian Wright returns for his eighth season as a member of the Muskegon Clippers’ Coaching Staff. Wright serves as the team’s third base coach and defensive coordinator.

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Logan Fleener – Head Coach
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Dion Felger – Pitching Coach
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Brian Wright – Assistant Coach

The Muskegon Clippers season runs the months of June and July and is played at historic Marsh Field in Muskegon.

For more information contact Pete Gawkowski at 231-638-7696 or visit our website at www.muskegonclippers.com or join our Facebook page by searching Muskegon Clippers.

ABOUT THE MUSKEGON CLIPPERS
The Muskegon Clippers are members of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate Baseball League which is a developmental league for college athletes from all over the country.  A Muskegon Clippers get rave reviews by baseball experts and fans alike for exciting baseball, low priced family fun and the interactive atmosphere generated while watching America’s pastime at historic Marsh Field.

Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Basketball Classic is Back

submitted by Tim Lipan

One of West Michigan’s holiday basketball highlights makes its return after a one-year absence.

The Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Holiday Classic basketball showcase will be back at Reeths-Puffer High School on Tuesday, Dec. 28, after the 2020 event was canceled because of COVID-19 restrictions and concerns.

This is the 19th edition of the Holiday Classic, again featuring three boys varsity games all for one admission price of $5. Tickets will be available only at the gate, and no passes will be accepted.

Orchard View and North Muskegon tip off the action at 5 p.m., followed by Reeths-Puffer vs. Holland West Ottawa at 6:45 p.m. and the grand finale of Muskegon vs. East Kentwood at 8:30 p.m.

Freshman and junior varsity boys games will be held earlier in the day at Reeths-Puffer.

The Holiday Classic is a fund-raising event that began in 2002. Since its inception, the event has returned more than $145,000 to area high school athletic programs thanks in large part to a generous group of donors and volunteers as well as the many attendees. Traditionally, the event is well-attended, often packing the house for the main event featuring the Big Reds.

Twenty-five different high schools have participated in the Classic over the years, mostly from the West Michigan area.

For more on the Hall of Fame and history of the Holiday Classic, visit the organization’s website at www.mashf.com.

MUSKEGON AREA SPORTS HALL OF FAME HOLIDAY CLASSIC
At Reeths-Puffer High School
Tickets: $5 (available only at the door)
Tuesday, Dec. 28
5 p.m.: Orchard View vs. North Muskegon
6:45 p.m.: Reeths-Puffer vs. Holland West Ottawa
8:30 p.m.: Muskegon vs. East Kentwood

NO-HITTER – ‘Caps Take Two from TinCaps

COMSTOCK PARK, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps threw their first no-hitter in more than two decades as part of a doubleheader sweep of the Fort Wayne TinCaps Thursday night by scores of 5-0 and 4-0 in front of 4,938 delighted fans at LMCU Ballpark.

Whitecaps pitchers Sandel De La Cruz, Michael Beinlien, Jared Tobey, and Bryce Tassin combined for seven hitless frames in a 4-0 shutout and the ‘Caps first no-hitter since Calvin Chipperfield accomplished the feat on June 13, 2000.

Game 1 of the doubleheader saw a performance just as dominant, as West Michigan starter Beau Brieske (5-3) became the first Whitecap to throw a complete game shutout since Eudis Idrogo in 2018. The 23-year-old allowed only two hits while striking out a season-high nine hitters in the 5-0 Whitecaps victory.

In Game 1, West Michigan plated three runs in the first inning as Parker Meadows and Gage Workman drove in runs to put the ‘Caps out in front by a count of 3-0. In Game 2, Eric De La Rosa blasted a two-run double in the fourth inning before Wenceel Perez plated Parker Meadows to put the finishing touches at the plate before the pitching staff secured the victory. Fort Wayne did not advance a runner past first base the entire game as West Michigan added insurance tallies in the fifth and sixth to finish the 5-0 win.

Beinlien (1-0) collected his first victory as part of the no-hitter, going 1.1 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts, while Tobey and Tassin each pitched an inning to finish the historic feat.

TinCaps starter Gabe Mosser (3-5) allowed four runs through 4.2 innings of work in his fifth loss this season. Sam Keating (2-5) allowed four runs through two frames in game two, picking up his fifth loss in 2021. Tigers No. 7 prospect Parker Meadows extended his hit streak to nine games finishing 2-for-7 with an RBI and a pair of runs. The Whitecaps improve to 29-33 as the TinCaps fall to 28-35.

UP NEXT
The Whitecaps continue this seven-game series against the Fort Wayne TinCaps Friday from LMCU Ballpark at 7:05 pm. West Michigan starts pitcher Keider Montero against the TinCaps. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty starts on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:50 pm. Get your tickets for all 2021 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.

Muskegon Clippers Collegiate Baseball – 2021 Season Begins

MUSKEGON, Mich. – Muskegon’s summer collegiate baseball team, the Muskegon Clippers, will be returning for another exciting season of baseball at historic Marsh Field in Muskegon. Opening day will be Tuesday, June 3, 2021 at 7:05pm.

The Clippers are members of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League which is a developmental League for college athletes from all over the country. These student athletes are looking to hone their skills, and possibly get spotted by baseball scouts as they hope for an opportunity at the next level.

The Clippers will play a 42 game schedule during the months of June and July. With 21 home games, there are many opportunities to enjoy Americas past time.

This season is full of great happenings at the ball park.

Opening Night
Opening night for the Muskegon Clippers is, Tuesday June 3, 2021 at historic Marsh Field on Laketon Avenue in Muskegon. The Clippers will play the Royal Oak Leprechauns. Gates open at 6:00 pm; first pitch is at 7:05pm.

Free Magnet Schedule Giveaway
Opening night is also free magnet game schedule giveaway night! Each family through the gate will receive a FREE 2021 Clippers game schedule while supplies last.

The Fan Experience – More Than Just Baseball
The Clippers have gotten rave reviews from baseball experts and casual fans alike. Not only is there great baseball played, but the fans love the historic ballpark and the fun and interactive atmosphere that is created during the games.

Part of the excitement includes:

  • Walk up music for the players
  • Sing along for fans
  • Our famous Beer batter
  • Contests and Games for fans between innings
  • Dance along with fans
  • Guests performing the national anthem
  • Kids participating on the field in the introduction of players.
  • And finally, fans are allowed to run the bases after the games.

Concessions and Team Merchandise
The Clippers have a great line up of ball park food, soft drinks, and ice cold Budweiser products. And of course, the Clippers will have team gear and merchandise available for purchase.

Team Roster
The Clippers have completed their 30 – man roster and have signed players from Universities like Missouri, Michigan State, Western Michigan, Texas A&M and USC.

The Clippers are coached by well-known local baseball coaches, Walt Gawkowski, Head Coach, Brian Wright, Bench Coach, Keith Williams, Hitting Coach and Steve Cutter, General Manager and Pitching Coach. The Clippers are owned by Pete Gawkowski.

Ticket Information
Game tickets are $5 for adults; $3 for Senior Citizens, $3 for students; $2 for children 5-12. Children 5 and under are free..

For more information contact Pete Gawkowski at 231-638-7696 or visit our website at www.muskegonclippers.com or join our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/muskegonclippers

Historic Marsh Field
Historic Marsh Field is 105 years old and continues its storied history by playing host to the Muskegon Clippers and over 100 other baseball ball games throughout the year. Over the years Marsh Field has been the home of the Muskegon Lassies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the old Muskegon Clippers, a farm team of the New York Yankees and the Muskegon Reds a farm team of the Detroit Tigers.

Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – June 12th

MUSKEGON, Mich. – The 34th Annual Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Induction ceremony is an opportunity to honor our local heroes and legends.

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This year the Hall welcomes in four new members, another Distinguished Service Award winner and male and female student/athlete recipients from both 2020 and 2021.

The 2021 Scholar Athlete Award winners are Brady Rose, Mona Shores (Football) and Kenzie Bowers, Kent City (Basketball).

The 2021 Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame induction class is comprised of Robin Bouchard (hockey), Matt Brink (wrestling/football), Cheryl Day (basketball) and Johnny Mitchell (track and field). Jim Rudicil, Executive Director of the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, is the Gene Young Distinguished Service Award recipient.

Last year’s MASHF Scholar-Athlete Award winners, Muskegon’s Cameron Martinez and Grand Haven’s Kathryn Ackerman, also will be invited to the ceremony as the 2020 banquet was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event will be held at the Mercy Health Arena (formerly L.C. Walker Arena) on Saturday June 12, 2021 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. The event is open to the public.

In addition to the induction ceremonies, attendees will be provided with heavy hors d’oeuvres – buffet style. Adult beverages will be available for purchase. Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased at: http://www.mashf.com/HFInduction.htm

Brady Rose was instrumental in Mona Shores winning back-to-back Division 2 football state championships in 2019 and 2020. The quarterback, safety and all-around standout earned 2020 MLive Player of the Year and Associated Press Division 1-2 Player of the Year awards. He was first-team all-state both seasons in addition to various other accolades.

Kenzie Bowers has earned varsity letters in softball, track and field and cross country, but basketball is her No. 1 sport. Kenzie earned AP first-team all-state accolades all four years and she was a Miss Basketball candidate. She is Kent City’s all-time leading scorer, girl or boy, with 1,822 career points.

Robin Bouchard starred for the Muskegon Fury and Lumberjacks. Bouchard holds the modern day goal scoring record in minor league hockey with 6867 goals. He won five championships during his professional seasons.

Matt Brink was an All Sate performer in wrestling and football a Fruitport High School. Brink was a three time State Champion wrestler and the only wrestler in Michigan High School Athletic Association history to win a heavy weight state title as a freshman.

Cheryl Day starred on the hard court at Muskegon Heights High School, Muskegon Community College and the University of Detroit-Mercy. She was the first Muskegon Heights girl’s basketball player to have her jersey retired after she scored 1,004 career points.

Johnny Mitchel earned state wide and national honors in 1982 and 1983 in the discus for Muskegon High School. Mitchel earned All-State honors and was considered the top discus thrower in the country in 1983.

Jim Rudicil will be awarded the Gene Young Distinguished Service Award. The award is presented to a member of the community in honor of their dedication to athletics in a non-participatory manner. Jim has been the Executive Director of the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park for 21 years. He has grown the park to become a major tourist destination in West Michigan. The park features year round sports activities including winter and summer luge, cross country skiing, a zip line and many other activities.

Gene Young was the longtime president of the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame and a local sports legend as a star athlete, an educator and a sports broadcaster.

Whitecaps Walk-Off for First Home Win Since 2019

COMSTOCK PARK, MI – The West Michigan Whitecaps were unable to hold a 7-0 lead but managed to rally for a 9-8 walkoff victory over the Great Lakes Loons Wednesday night at LMCU Ballpark – marking the ‘Caps first home victory since August 25, 2019.

Daniel Cabrera’s game-tying RBI-double in the ninth set up a wild pitch that scored the Tigers 2020 second round pick from third base to win the contest in the first walkoff victory for West Michigan since May of 2019.

The Whitecaps took advantage of poor pitching early, plating seven runs through the first three innings as the Loons committed two errors while walking six as Parker Meadows, Andre Lipcius, and Dillon Dingler combined for four RBIs to take a commanding 7-0 advantage. ‘Caps starting pitcher Garrett Hill, and bullpen arms, Zach Hess and Brendan White held down the fort for West Michigan on the mound – punching out 10 Great Lakes hitters through the first six innings while only allowing two hits – both of them solo home runs – holding the West Michigan advantage at 7-2. Great Lakes began their comeback push in the eighth as Miguel Vargas and Deacon Liput both drove in runs – narrowing the West Michigan lead to 7-4.

In the top of the ninth, the Loons loaded the bases with none out before single and a hit-by-pitch allowed a pair of Great Lakes runners to cross – ending ‘Caps closer Ruben Garcia’s night and cutting the lead to just one, 7-6. Yaya Chentouf came on in relief for the Whitecaps with the bases loaded and still none out, striking out two Great Lakes batters before two critical West Michigan fielding errors forged Great Lakes out in front by a score of 8-7. The ‘Caps responded in the bottom half, as Daniel Cabrera pulled off some late-game heroics, lacing a game-tying RBI-double before scoring on a wild pitch to send the home crowd into hysterics and put the finishing touches on a 9-8 victory, and the first Whitecaps win in West Michigan in almost two years.

Chentouf (2-0) captured his second win of the season with one inning while allowing no earned runs on a pair of strikeouts in the victory. Loons reliever, Morgan Cooper (0-1), lasted only 1.2 frames while allowing a pair of runs on two hits in his first defeat of the 2021 campaign. The Whitecaps improve to 3-4 on the season while the Loons fall to 2-6. Six West Michigan pitchers combined to strike out 13 Loons hitters – the most in a single game so far this season – while every Whitecaps hitter was able to reach base in the seesaw victory.

~UP NEXT~

This six-game series against the Great Lakes Loons continues Thursday at 6:35 pm. The Whitecaps send pitcher Chance Kirby to the mound against lefty Alec Gamboa for Great Lakes. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:20 pm. A limited number of tickets are available for select Whitecaps 2021 home contests by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.

2019 Old Fashioned Days Horseshoe Event

first

1st Place
Jayden Fri and Stan Jacobs with a record of 8 wins and 0 losses in tournament play.

second

2nd Place
Bill Ingalls and John Deering with a record of 7 wins and 1 loss in tournament play.

third

3rd Place
Larry Thompson and Sean Brisson with a record of also 7 wins and 1 loss in tournament play.

Honorable Mention:
Bob Yonkers and Chris Nyenhuis, with a record of also 7 wins and 1 loss in tournament play, were eliminated in a hard fought battle for 3rd place.

Muskegon Has Its Own Field of Dreams Featuring Muskegon Clippers Baseball

The Muskegon Clippers Had Opening Day at Historic Marsh Field

muskclippersMUSKEGON, Mich. – Muskegon’s summer collegiate baseball team, the Muskegon Clippers, returned for another exciting season of baseball at historic Marsh Field in Muskegon. Opening day was Tuesday, June 4, 2019.
The Clippers are members of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League which is a developmental League for college athletes from all over the country.  These student athletes are looking to hone their skills, and possibly get spotted by baseball scouts as they hope for an opportunity at the next level.
Historic Marsh Field celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016 and continues its storied history by playing host to the Muskegon Clippers and over 100 other baseball ball games throughout the year. Over the years Marsh Field has been the home of the Muskegon Lassies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the old Muskegon Clippers, a farm team of the New York Yankees and the Muskegon Reds a farm team of the Detroit Tigers.
This season was full of great happenings at the ball park.

Opening Night
Opening night for the Muskegon Clippers was, Tuesday June 4, 2019 at historic Marsh Field on Laketon Avenue in Muskegon.  The Clippers played the Michigan Monarchs in game one of a three game set scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Gates opened at 6:00 pm; first pitch was at 7:05pm, each night.
Opening night was also free magnet game schedule giveaway night!  Each family through the gate received a FREE 2019 Clippers game schedule while supplies lasted.

A Successful 2018 Season
Despite narrowly missing the playoffs 2018 proved to be an extremely successful season, both on the field and off.   2018 saw several Clippers recognized by the league for their on- field accomplishments, by being honored with post season awards.  A couple of Western Michigan Broncos led the way offensively for the Clippers.
Shortstop Jimmy Roach was named First Team All Great Lakes League, while Blake Dunn was named a Second Team outfielder.  Aquinas University standout, Max  Ludka was named First Team Great Lakes League pitcher and won the prestigious Pitcher of the Year Award.
A number of Clipper records were also shattered. Jimmy Roach set records for Batting Average, Hits, Home Runs and RBI’s.  Max Ludka set records for ERA, Wins and Strike Outs.
Off the field the Clippers set an all-time attendance record.  Win or lose, Clippers fans went home happy as they enjoyed a wide variety of fan participation activities.  Marsh Field continues to be a lively and exciting place on the warm Muskegon summer nights.

The Fan Experience – More Than Just Baseball
The Clippers have gotten rave reviews from baseball experts and casual fans alike.  Not only is there great baseball played, but the fans love the historic ballpark and the fun and interactive atmosphere that is created during the games.

Part of the excitement includes
• Walk up music for the players
• Sing along for fans
• Dance along with fans
• Our famous Beer batter
• Contests and Games for fans between innings
• Guests performing the national anthem
• Kids participating on the field in the introduction of players.
• And finally, fans are allowed to run the bases after the games.

The League and Game Schedule
The Clippers began their third season in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League (GLSCL), which is supported by Major League Baseball.
The Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League had 12 teams in two divisions.  The Clippers competed in the Northern Division.
Other teams in the Northern Division of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League were the St. Clair Green Giants from Ontario Canada, the Grand Lake Mariners from Ohio, the Michigan Monarchs from Southeast Michigan, the Galion Graders from Ohio, and the Lima Locos from Ohio.
“The league is extremely competitive and should provide our fans with some great baseball this season,“ said Muskegon Clipper Owner, Pete Gawkowski, earlier this year. “The Southern Ohio Copperheads won the GLSCL championship last year and we hope to challenge them for the title this year.”
The Clippers played a 42 game schedule during the months of June and July.  Although there was lots of travel to the away games, the Clippers were fortunate to have several three – game, home stands as part of their 21 home games at Marsh Field.

Team Roster
The Clippers have completed their 30 – man roster and have signed players from Universities like Missouri, Michigan State, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green.
Several stand outs from last year’s squad also returned to the Clippers.  They included, Nolan Bryant – Davenport University, Micah Allen – Ashland University, Bryce Davis – Rockford High School/University of Toledo, Jacob Gilhaus – Kalamazoo College, Sean Casey – Grand Haven High School/Muskegon Community College.
In addition, the Clippers’ roster is filled with college players who earned quality playing time and distinguished themselves at their respective universities this spring.
The Clippers are coached by well-known local baseball coaches, Walt Gawkowski, Head Coach, Brian Wright, Bench Coach, Keith Williams, Hitting Coach and Steve Cutter, General Manager and Pitching Coach.
The Clippers are owned by Pete Gawkowski.

Ticket Information
Game tickets were $5 for adults; $3 for Senior Citizens, $3 for students; $2 for children 5-12. Children 5 and under were free. There was also special pricing for Season Tickets, a Half Season 10 game flex package or group sales.
For more information visit our website at www.muskegonclippers.com or join our Facebook page by searching Muskegon Clippers.

Muskegon Risers to Host International Arena Soccer Friendly in Michigan

USA-Canada exhibition Saturday May 5th, 2018 at LC Walker Arena

MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN. – The American Association of Soccer 567 (AAS567) announced that the United States National Arena Soccer Team (USNAST) will host the Canadian National Arena Soccer Team in a friendly game at LC Walker Arena in Muskegon, Michigan on Saturday May 5th, 2018.  This game will be co-hosted with the Muskegon Risers.  The game, which will kick off at 3:00pm Eastern, will feature the top players in arena soccer from their respective countries.  This will be the first time the USNAST will make an appearance in Muskegon and also the first time facing Canada in the United States.

“USA vs Canada in Michigan?  It doesn’t get any better than that.”  USNAST General Manager Bernie Lilavois said.  “It’s a great opportunity to continue to showcase our arena soccer product, especially in Muskegon after a successful season that the Muskegon Risers just completed in the Major Arena Soccer League 2.  This game gives fans of all ages a great matchup to come watch and enjoy some fast paced, high scoring and non-stop action of arena soccer.”

“The Muskegon Risers organization was founded to create a positive impact on our community through soccer, and presenting a USA vs Canada game in Muskegon’s historic LC Walker Arena is the embodiment of that mission.”  said Risers President, Matt Schmitt.  “We expect this game to attract people from across the state and region.  Our local businesses and organizations are thrilled by the opportunity to showcase Muskegon through this monumental event.”

Tickets for the game are on sale at the LC Walker Arena box office located at 955 Fourth Street, Muskegon, MI 49440 or online at StarTickets.com.  A full roster of the players scheduled to participate will be announced soon.

Muskegon Clippers Season Opener

Muskegon Clippers Season Opened, Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at Marsh Field

“Opening Day begins new season, new league, highly competitive play and affordable family fun”

MUSKEGON, Mich., June 5, 2017 – Muskegon’s summer collegiate baseball team, the Muskegon Clippers, returned for its fourth season at historic Marsh Field in Muskegon. Opening day was Tuesday evening, June 6, 2017 at 7:05pm.

During its first three years of play, the Clippers have gotten rave reviews from baseball experts and casual fans alike. Not only was there great baseball played, but the fans loved the historic ballpark and the fun and interactive atmosphere that was created during the games.

Game tickets are $5 for adults; $3 for Senior Citizens, $3 for students; $2 for children 5-12. Children 5 and under are free. There is also special pricing for season tickets, a 10 game flex package or group sales.

This season is full of new things at the ball park.

New League – Higher Quality of Play

The Clippers were admitted into the highly respected Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League which is supported by Major League Baseball. The Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League (GLSCL) has 15 teams in three divisions. The Clippers will compete in the Northern Division.

Other teams in the Northern Division of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League will be the St. Clair, Ontario, Green Giants, the Irish Hills Leprechauns from Adrian, Michigan, the Lake Erie Monarchs out of Flat Rock, Michigan and the Grand River Loggers out of Grand Haven, Michigan.

The GLSCL is sanctioned and supported by Major League Baseball and markets their league as, “future Major League Baseball stars right in your backyard”.

Improved Roster

By joining the new league, the Clippers will be adding more players to their roster from Division I colleges and universities. They will also be playing more games against better competition.

The Clippers have completed their roster and have signed players from Universities like Michigan, Michigan State, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, the Citadel and Western Kentucky University. Several stand outs from last year’s squad will also playing for the Clippers. They include, Austin Batka, University of Michigan, Andrew Null, Slippery Rock University, and Cameron Bair from Davenport University.

In addition, the roster will include several local stars including Jacob Bushberger, Davenport University and Montague High School; Tyler Trovinger, Oakland University and Mona Shores High School; Bryce Kelley, Michigan State University and Rockford High School and Nolan Bryant, Davenport University and Rockford High School

The Fan Experience

In addition to the play on the field, The Clippers have built a reputation of creating a great family friendly experience that incorporates the fans in the action.

Part of the excitement includes walk up music for each Clipper batter. Crowd participation with the action on the field and between innings, is part of the uniqueness of Clipper baseball. And finally, kids are allowed to run the bases after the games.

Upgraded Concessions

Well known for their ball park dog, brat and popcorn, the Clippers will be adding delicious hamburgers right off the grill, nachos, pizza and Dippin’ Dots ice cream to their concessions line up.

In addition, to a variety of soft drinks and ice cold Budweiser products, the Clippers will be adding craft beer nights and tap takeovers to their schedule.

And of course the Clippers will have team gear and merchandise available for purchase.

Special Recognition Nights and Events

Throughout the season the Clippers will be offering up special recognition nights for groups like veterans groups, little league teams, sports clubs and charitable groups. There are even plans for “Bark in the Park”, where fans can bring their dogs to the park.

The Clippers also can arrange for group ticket sales, company picnics, family reunions and other special events on their party deck.

For more information contact Pete Gawkowski at 231-638-7696 or visit our website at www.muskegonclippers.com or join our Facebook page by searching Muskegon Clippers.

PEAK Training Academy’s PEAK Elite Program

PEAK Training Academy Launches Groundbreaking Program with Local Legend at the Helm and Scholarship Guarantee

Peak Training Academy, the newest and most cutting-edge, training facility in downtown Muskegon launched six months ago in downtown Muskegon. PEAK offers high-level training for athletes of all ages while using a 360 approach to growing not only the athlete, but the person. Located in the renovated LC Walker Arena Annex PEAK has a world-class training space with turf, basketball court, weight room, batting cage, hockey treadmill, and much more.

PEAK is launching its cornerstone program, the PEAK Elite Program. PEAK Elite Members will be chosen through an interview and application process from local high schools. Terrence Williams, founder of PEAK said of the program, “I believe this is going to change not only the lives of the individuals that participate, but will change the city as a whole.” The program is designed for student-athletes grades 9-12 with aspirations of using athletics as a vehicle for higher education, life experience, and personal growth. “We are focused on much more than just the athletic ability of the members. This program will prepare them mentally, academically, financially, as well as athletically for the rigors of being a college student-athlete”, Williams continued.

ttaylor

Terrance Taylor

Heading up the program as Executive Director will be local Muskegon legend, Terrance Taylor. A 2005 graduate of Muskegon high school and 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan, Taylor is uniquely equipped to head up the program. Terrance was an All-American at UofM, played in the Rose Bowl, and was drafted in the 4th round by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 NFL Draft. After spending time in the NFL with the Colts, Lions, and Carolina Panthers, Terrance has also wreaked havoc on the AFL.

On the addition of Taylor as Executive Director Williams said, “We couldn’t be more fortunate. Terrance is the example of what we want this program to produce. He’s not only had an outstanding athletic career, received a degree from one of the best institutes of higher education in the country, played professional football, but Terrance has a great name and reputation wherever he has been. He is passing on some great opportunities to come home to lead this program, so I hope people recognize and appreciate that. He really cares about West Michigan, and that matters to me.”

The PEAK Elite Program will focus in on four major areas; Philanthropy, Education, Athleticism, and Knowledge (life skills). “My mission is to help student-athletes achieve their goals and vision, not just on the field, but in the classroom and in life,” says Taylor about his goal for the program. Taylor hopes to make the path for up and coming West Michigan student-athletes easier than it was for him. He is excited to motivate student athletes to be all they can be. He tells students, “There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, but there is something wrong with not taking the path many are afraid to take because you doubt yourself or your vision.” He continued passionately, “It comes down to accountability, mental toughness, and the ability to tackle and manage obstacles in their path to achieve their goals and dreams. It’s about being the best individual you can be in your sport and in life.”

The program will launch with a small test group in mid-march with the official launch set for early June 2017. Williams is so confident in the program that he is offering a money-back guarantee on the program. “If a student comes through this program and completes all of the requirements, we guarantee he or she will earn more in scholarships than the cost of the program. If they don’t we will give them the difference in the form of a scholarship back to them!”

Ironmen Get Big Win on the Field and Roster

West Michigan Ironmen sign 3 new players, hightlighted by GVSU All-American Jamie Potts.

ironmenMuskegon, MI: The West Michigan Ironmen earned the biggest victory of their early season coming away with a thrilling 34-30 win against division rival Chicago Blitz. The win was big for the young organization beating the Blitz who made it to the AIF championship game a season ago.

While the high-powered Ironmen offense struggled at times, the defense and special teams came up with big plays when it counted most. The defense started the game off with a Rony Nelson sack and forced fumble recovered by Derek VandenBosch for an early Ironmen touchdown. Special teams added another 2 scores on kick returns from Erik Thompson, including a thrilling game winning kick return with :28 seconds remaining in the game. The defense didn’t stop there, Corey Edwards sealed the victory with an interception in the end zone.

The offense had to work with a few new faces on the offensive line after injuries and promotions left the Ironmen without 2 of their starting offensive lineman. The Ironmen have answered their questions on the offensive line with the signings of Oklahoma State University standout Deonte Cruse and UMASS graduate Malcolm Speller along with Amilio Flores of Fruitport (Northwood University).

The offensive line additions aren’t the only new additions to the Ironmen roster. The West Michigan Ironmen have signed all-around athlete Jamie Potts, who recently retired from Professional baseball. Potts, was a standout 3 sport athlete at Oakridge before going to Grand Valley where he was a 2 sport All-American in football and baseball. Potts was drafted in 2015 by the Texas Rangers and played one year in their single A system in Spokane, Washington. Potts retired from baseball and returned home to Muskegon earlier this spring. Head Coach Tyrece Lynk said, “Jamie is a guy that we will be able to use in a lot of different ways. He’s an athlete, and in this game it’s critical to have guys that can help you in a variety of positions, and that’s what Jamie will do.” Potts signed with the team this week and has started practicing. He hopes to be ready to play in the upcoming game against the River City Raiders this Saturday at the L.C. Walker Arena.

River City is currently in first place in the division and the only team this season to have beaten the Ironmen. The Ironmen lost to the Raiders in a thrilling 75-68 game in St. Louis, MO earlier this season. With a win the Ironmen will put themselves in the drivers seat to win the division and get home field advantage in the playoffs. The game will kick off Saturday at7:05 at the L.C. Walker Arena.

Season tickets,individual game tickets, or group packages to watch the Ironmen take on Chicago at the L.C. Walker arena are on sale now. Keep checking for the latest news and events from the Ironmen. For further information please visit our website at www.westmichiganironmen.com for the latest Ironmen news. Reserve your seat now by calling the L.C. box office at 231-726-2400. The Ironmen play all of their home games at the L.C. Walker Arena located at 955 4th St., Muskegon, MI 49440.