Area players picked for Connie Mack all-star team



FLINT TWP. – At an event at Foutch’s Strike Zone last Tuesday afternoon, officials from the Greater Flint Baseball/Softball Association and leaders at Foutch’s Baseball introduced an allstar team of the top players from the Metro Flint area to represent the community against some of the nation’s top high school baseball players. The team will compete in a regional tournament at Broome Park, Whaley Stadium and Mott Community College’s Kearsley Park from July 10-14. The regional is one of three qualifying tournaments in the American Amateur Baseball Congress’s Connie Mack World Series, which takes place in Farmington, NM on July 26-27.

“This regional event is an opportunity to showcase our community while delivering a significant economic impact for our local hotels, restaurants, gas stations and other merchants,” said Mike Killbreath, President of the Flint Area Chamber of Commerce and long-time local sports talk radio host. “Teams from across the nation will be here to compete with the regional champion advancing to Farmington with $10,000 in travel money for winning our event.”

The field for the July 10-14 event in Flint will feature nine teams from the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico. The following teams make up the field: Florida Legends, South Troy Dodgers of New York, Ontario Blue Jays, College Connect of Detroit, Grossi Select, Puerto Rico, Michigan Bulls, Saginaw Means, and Flint All-Stars.

The Flint All-Stars are led by local standouts Mason Bryant, Brady Gorman, Bradyn Hoskins and Drew Kranz from Grand Blanc High School.

Bryant is a two-year returning player for the Bobcats, who received first team All-League honors this past season. He hopes to pursue a career in law enforcement with a 3.4 GPA, and his favorite MLB player is Cody Bellinger.

Gorman is a graduating senior who spent the past three seasons on the varsity squad. He was honorable mention All-League this past season while also receiving SVL All-Academic honors. Gorman will pursue a career in business with a 3.5 GPA, and his favorite pro player is Bryce Harper.

Hoskins and Kranz are both graduating seniors and spent two seasons on varsity.

The all-star team also boasts four players from Linden High School in Colby Kohmescher, Carson Mabe, Jeff Metzger and Johnny Miller. Swartz Creek has a pair of players, as Carsen Allesie and Brendon Bouchard were both selected for the squad. Carman- Ainsworth, Montrose and Fenton are the only other schools with more than one player on the team. Garrett Gleason and Harrison Hogan are both from Carman-Ainsworth, while Brock Henson and Logan Welch will represent Fenton. Wendell Bruton and Cameron Tupper both played for Montrose this past spring. The rest of the roster is comprised of Collin Harris from LakeVille, Colby Phipps from Goodrich, Brendan Murphy from Flushing, Hunter Patrick from Birch Run and Cameron MacNeill from Lake Fenton. The Flint All- Stars will be coach by Steve Faculak, a long-time high school baseball coach who led Carman-Ainsworth to its first league title in 21 years when he led the Cavaliers to the 2014 Saginaw Valley League championship.

The City of Flint has had only one Connie Mack World Series champion in its history, the 1974 Carpets By Smith team, which was led by future big league stars Rick Leach and Lary Sorenson, as well as future Michigan State coach Ted Mahan. The Carpets By Smith squad is inducted in the Greater Flint Sports Hall of Fame and was led by coach Walt Head, who later became a Major League scout and head coach at Saginaw Valley State University for 32 seasons.

The Connie Mack World Series has produced numerous major league stars and draws thousands of fans every night during the two-day tournament in Farmington.

“We would love to create such an atmosphere of community and pride here by urging families to support the tournament games and by aiming to inspire volunteers to step up and help the Greater Flint Area Baseball/Softball Association Board stage a first-class event,” said Don Pfeiffer, who is a member of the Flint Area Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Board, Co-Chair of the Metro Flint Community Pride Development Committee and owner of Blackstone’s restaurant in Flint.

“We have some true community heroes who have saved baseball inside the city with their money and their tireless efforts to create opportunities for young people,” added Pfeiffer. “Anyone who wants to get involved and donate their time, including businesses willing to support the annual golf fundraiser, can call GFBS commissioner Drew Johnson at 810-397-8574.”