Lackey lifts Beavers in the clutch late
By Clint Kern
BEAVERTON – For the past 15 seasons or so, Clare and Beaverton have year in and year out been atop the Jack Pine Conference baseball standings at the end of May. These two classic Midwestern agricultural and industrial blue-collar towns seem to fit the mold of prime baseball producing talent regions.
Beaverton features recent stalwarts: Ryan Longstreth pitching for Central Michigan, Jake Oard drilling shots for Northwood and Mike Lyons fresh off a stint at Muskegon Community College. Clare has representative alumni: Travis Smith and Tyler Beatty making plays for Northwood, Hunter Emery and Tyler Wentworth displaying their skills down at Lansing Community College and numerous others have played collegiate athletics from Clare.
The game was nip and tuck, every pitch seemed to have great significance. The crowd was bundled up, but still enthusiastic. “I see great things in baseball. It’s our game – the American game. It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses and be a blessing to us,” said iconic poet, Walt Whitman.