TRAVERSE CITY — A little rest in between outings usually doesn’t hurt.
Just ask Trent McDougall.
The Traverse City West left-hander hadn’t thrown in a game for three weeks, yet was locked in when called upon in Wednesday’s Near-Far All-Star Game at Traverse City Central.
Team Near won 6-3, with McDougall coming on to pitch scoreless seventh and eighth innings as his team took the lead with Bellaire players providing two clutch hits in a three-run eighth.
“I pitched pretty well three weeks ago when I pitched,” McDougall said. “It’s pretty cool just being able to be out here. And then being able to pitch that well in this kind of thing is great.”
The Titans leaned heavily on Walt Borkovich in their district championship run, so McDougall was fresh when called upon. He struck out four of the eight batters he faced.
“It was very nice to go out with a win,” McDougall said. “And it was nice to go out with most of our seniors on our team. We had five out of our seven seniors here. As a team, I think all five of us represented West really well.”
The all-star game features top seniors from northern Michigan from Manistee to Alpena, split up by proximity to Traverse City.
Pitchers controlled much of the game, until Near broke loose for three runs in the eighth to take the lead.
TC Central’s Mitch Brien walked and teammate Jansen Shea singled to get Near in business. Then Bellaire teammates Drew Bailey and Wes Villafane came up with the game’s big hits. Bailey smacked an RBI double and Villafane followed with a two-run single.
“It was a fastball right down the middle and I turned on it,” Bailey said. “This was the big hurrah. It was fun. It’s good to go out with a win.”