Ben Murphy
Contributing Writer


Veteran coach Jey Zubal returned to the Eaton Rapids baseball program this spring. The Greyhounds had a 13-19 record in his first year back, as they played well despite a bit of a youthful roster.

“We got better toward the end of the season,” Zubal said. “Although we had four experienced seniors, many freshmen and sophomores had to play crucial roles.  That inexperience cost us some early games.”

An early sign that they were figuring things out was an April 18 home sweep over Parma Western, contests that they won on scores of 8-2 and 11-1 (five innings). 

“Sweeping Parma, returning to beat Haslett, beating a state-ranked Johns team and beating Charlotte (were some favorite moments),” Zubal said. “I felt we competed in every game and probably could have won six more games early if we wouldn’t have made a few mistakes.” 

Senior Braylon Nobach led the team with a .451 batting average. 

“He became crucial to us anchoring the infield,” Zubal said. “Jonny Stohr and Jude Kennedy will be missed with their leadership and consistency.  Senior Chase Covello will also be missed for his constant positive attitude and willingness to do whatever helps the team the most.”

There were some others on the team that made a big impact as well.

“Matthew Wright was our go-to guy on the mound in big games,” Zubal said. “He started our pre-district game against eventual district champ Ionia and almost had them beat.  He’s a junior so we are looking forward to see how he does next year.  Freshman Parker Nelson caught 31 of our 33 games this year.  He will be a player to watch in the future.  Freshman Joe Zubal went 3-1 on the mound breathing Parma, Fowlerville, and St. Johns.  He also threw very well against Charlotte in an eight inning 2-1 loss at Charlotte.”

The Greyhounds are hoping that next spring will go even better; especially with a majority of their roster expected to return.

“Losing these four seniors will be tough, they were great teammates and help the young players immensely,” Zubal said. “We will be young again next year with only three seniors returning. We are hopeful we can get some more players out that chose not to play this year due to us having only one team.  Having a JV team will be crucial for the program.  We do return three of our top four pitchers, a catcher who will only get better, and some younger players who did not get much playing time this year will have to step it up for us to compete.”