(TECUMSEH, ON) – With 18 games under their collective belt, the St Clair Green Giants are leading the Northern Division of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League with a 12-6 record and sit 2 games up on the 2nd place Lake Erie Monarchs. Though the Green Giants split a weather-related double header with the Flat Rock, MI, club on Friday, the Monarchs are enjoying a 2-game winning streak and are 7-3 in their last 10. St Clair is 6-4 after starting 6-2.
Just the Monarchs and Irish Hills Leprechauns have returned to the revamped Northern Division this year. Other clubs, including the 2016 division leading and playoffs runners up Lima Locos, were sent south into the Central Division as St Clair, the Muskegon Clippers, and the Grand River Loggers expanded into the league.
The Green Giants are enjoying an 8-2 record against the established clubs in the division with the 2 loses coming in the last 4 games. St Clair dropped a rain delayed 3-2 decision to the Monarchs before bouncing back with a 5-4 win on Friday. This past weekend the Giants hosted the Leprechauns, splitting the 2-games series with a 9-2 loss Saturday and 3-0 shutout Sunday.
At the plate, St Clair is led by Jalen Thomas of Southfield, MI. Hitting from the right side, Thomas is belting the ball at a .465 rate, currently 11th in the GLSCL. More importantly, Thomas’ OPS is 1.020, but trending down, hitting just 1-for-9 in the last 4 games.
Adam Tanoue is next on the list with an average of .340 and OPS of .791. Going 2-for-9 since Friday is off his season pace and, between him and Thomas cooling down, could account for the .500 ball by the club lately.
While the Green Giants were winning earlier in the season on the strength of their hitting, as it tapers off the pitchers are stepping forward to pick up the slack.
Tyler Whitbread has shown improvement with each successive outing. He’s been credited with a win in each of his last two starts and is now sporting an ERA of 1.56. Whitbread has allowed just .360 earned runs per batter faced over 9 innings, however, his massive .818 strikeout to walk ratio needs improvement.
Hunter Brown, of St Clair Shores, MI, is enjoying a standout season thus far. He’s on a 3-game winning streak and is sporting a 1.17 ERA. Brown struck out 10 Leprechauns yesterday and is now averaging a 1.88 K per 9 innings. His K:BB ratio is 1.22, which should be higher, but he has given up a miniscule .003 earned runs per batter over 9 innings. Brown has been getting better with every start.
St Clair will play just 2 home games over the next 10 matches. They host the Clippers Wednesday and Thursday before heading out on an 8-game road trip with will take through the next two weeks. Game time is 7:05pm each night vs Muskegon at Lacasse Park in Tecumseh.