Pontiac Notre Dame Prep has made the biggest turnaround in the state in baseball this spring, taking pride in its new facilities to go unbeaten at 16-0, earning a No. 6 spot in Division 2 by the Baseball Coaches Association Rankings after an 8-22 record a year ago.
Jason Gendreau deserves a lot of credit for the turnaround after taking over the program after winning nearly 250 games the past 10 years while head coach at Utica Eisenhower.
“I’m in my first year at NDP, having come over from Utica Eisenhower and our Irish team is in unchartered waters, now 16-0,” pointed out Gendreau after Notre Dame Prep won the tournament Saturday at Lake Orion with wins over Ann Arbor Skyline and the host school.
“I took my coaching staff from Eisenhower with me. We have a new all-turf field, took the whole program to Florida for spring training, just a lot of cool things going on for our program.”
Senior catcher Ryan Knutson leads Notre Dame Prep’s hitting attack, hitting .610 with junior third baseman/pitcher River Shea and junior first base/pitcher Jack Krausmann also having strong starts.
Shea is hitting .330 and owns a 5-0 record with a 1.60 earned-run average. Krausmann is hitting .350 and is 4-0 (2.10 ERA).
“Shea and Krausmann are right-handers, both throw 82 to 84,” Gendreau said. “We don’t have a single kid on our team that you would show up and watch us warm up and say, ‘that kid’s a stud.’”
“We’ve had opposing coaches say our team is very disciplined and that we don’t do anything great, but we do everything really well, and the team hustle factor, I’m telling you whether it’s baserunning, diving for balls, everybody goes 100 miles-per-hour and we don’t beat ourselves. We have a lot of team speed and can play small ball, force our opponents to make mistakes.”
Gendreau also feels fortunate to have senior left-handed reliever Jacob Genord who is 6-0.
Notre Dame Prep will play host to Auburn Hills Avondale Tuesday, then host Detroit Western Wednesday afternoon.
April 29, 2018