Road Woes Continue

June 21, 2009 by  
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WASHINGTON, PA, June 22, 2009

The Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti tough road trip continues with a 5-2 loss to the Washington Wild Things. This puts Midwest skid at four straight games and makes them 2-8 on the current 12 game road trip.

Washington jumped out to an early four nothing lead in the second off Sliders starter Douglas Brooks. Two doubles by Michael Parker, and Phil Laurent lead the way for the Wild Things in the second inning.

Midwest came back in the top of the fourth scoring two runs, one of a sacrifice fly, the other coming off a double. Washington tacked on another insurance run in the sixth to put them up 5-2 which would be the final score.

Andrew Schindling gave up only four hits in 6.1 picking up the win for Washington. Douglas Brooks got the loss throwing six innings allowing all five runs. Nick Peterson earned his fifth save of the season in front of a sell out crowd at CONSOL Energy Park.

Tomorrow Midwest will try to even the series out at 7:05 p.m.

Crushers Edge Sliders for Sweep

June 20, 2009 by  
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AVON, OH, June 20, 2009

Lake Erie Crushers squeaked by in the final game of a sweep against the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti. The Crushers won 4-3 in a pitching duel that came down to the last pitch. Bryan Bonners single in the ninth put the tying run on, but Midwest couldn’t push him across to put it in extra innings.

Mike Penn had a strong performance for Midwest going seven innings allowing only three earned runs but received the loss.

The Crushers took an early two nothing lead off Penn in the second inning scoring two runs off three hits. Penn settled down only allowing one earned run in the next five innings.

Roberto Mena doubled in Stephan Flora, and then Jimmy Baker singled in Mena to tie the game at twos. The Sliders took their only lead of the game in the fifth when Baker singled in his second RBI, and Flora scored his second run of the game.

Erie took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth when Gordon Gronkowski hit a two run homer to put the Crushers up 4-3.

Brain Chambers came in relief for Lake Erie throwing three innings allowing one run and picking up the win. Jacinto Gonell earned the save pitching the last two innings only allowing two hits.

Tonight the Sliders travel to Washington, PA. to face the Wild Things tomorrow at 6:35 p.m.

“We’re looking to get out of this funk,” manager Eric Coleman said. “We’ll go out tomorrow and hopefully end this slide, just keep battling.”

Crushers Belt 21 Hits in Route

June 20, 2009 by  
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AVON, OH, June 20, 2009

For the second straight night the Lake Erie Crushers, crushed the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti. 21 hits helped Lake Erie win 17-7 Friday night at All Pro Freight Stadium.

Midwest put up two runs each in the second and third in what looked like a nice 4-2 lead. Stephan Flora had a RBI single, and Jonnie Knoble had a RBI double to build the early lead.

After that the story was all the Crushers hitting. Lake Erie scored 15 runs in the next six innings to route Midwest. Two Crushers lead the way, Luke Hetherington went 4-5 with a homerun, triple and three RBI’s, and Gordon Gronkowski went 4-4 with a homer, triple and four RBI’s.

Jon Haldis received the loss for the Sliders out of relief of Kyle Kearcher. Josh Faiola allowed six runs in five innings, nevertheless got the win, while Alberto Rolon pitched the final three innings to get the save only allowing one run.

Mike Penn takes the mound tomorrow for the Sliders as they try to salvage the final game in the series at 7:05. Following the game the team travels to Washington, PA to play the Wild Things in a three game set. Then come home to play at EMU’s Oestrike Stadium on Wednesday, June 24 hosting the Kalamazoo Kings

Depleted Sliders Fall 10-1

June 19, 2009 by  
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AVON, OH, June 19, 2009

The Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti lost the series opener to the Lake Erie Crushers 10-1. The Sliders had their hands tied with Roberto Mena spraining his ankle, Jimmy Baker, and Sam DeLuca also unable to play.

Lake Erie took advantages of Slider miscues early scoring two runs in the first inning from an error and a walk to go up 2-0. A six run fourth inning for the Crushers helped seal the deal going up 8-0.

Midwest did scratch out one run off six hits. Newly acquired infielder Robbie Knapp had two hits in his first start with the Sliders. Knapp had a .267 average, four bombs, and nine RBI’s starting the season with the Rockford Riverhawks.

The Sliders look to get some players back in the lineup as Mena is listed as day-to-day. DeLuca scheduled to join the team soon, and Baker is away on a family emergency.

“We’re having to play players at different positions since we don’t have all our players ready to go,” Midwest manager Eric Coleman said.

Chris Nyman received the loss tonight for Midwest, while Paul Fagan earned his fourth win. Shannon Sprouse earned a save since he pitched the final three innings.

Tomorrow at 7:05, Midwest will throw southpaw Kyle Kearcher out in hope to even the series’ against the Crushers.

Sliders Pitching Dominates Kings

June 17, 2009 by  
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KALAMAZOO, MI, June 17, 2009

The Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti used a dominate pitching performance from James Albury to take the final game of the series with the Kalamazoo Kings. The Sliders won 4-0 in the pitching duel.

Jimmy Baker hit his third home run in as many games, and his seventh of the year, in the top of the first inning to put the Sliders up. Ben Barrone scored in the second inning after he walked, Knoble singled, and he came in on a error.

After Roberto Mena singled and stole second in the 7th Gilberto Zayas drove him in with a RBI single. Jeremy Jones added another insurance run as he hit a RBI single in the ninth to drive in Mena to make the game 4-0.

The story of the game was Sliders pitching though, Albury (2-1) got the win going 7.2 innings striking out ten, only allowing one hit, and no earned runs. Arshwin Asjes came in for the ninth slamming the down on the Kings striking out the side. Midwest only allowed two hits in the game while striking out 13 as a group.

Tonight the team travels too Avon, Ohio to face the Lake Erie Crushers. Chris Nyman (0-2, 7.20) will take the mound tomorrow for the Sliders who take a 11-13 record to Lake Erie, who is 12-12.

Sliders Slip Again

June 16, 2009 by  
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KALAMAZOO, MI, June 16, 2009

Walks crippled the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti for the second night in a row as they fell 12-5 to the Kalamazoo Kings. Eight walks, 11 hits, and one error helped the Kings offensive performance that put up 12 runs.

The Sliders took a early one to nothing lead when Jonnie Knoble singled, stole second and scored off a Bryan Bonner single. The Kings put up six runs in the bottom of the second from three walks, three singles and a double.

Midwest hit two solo homeruns in the sixth to cut the lead to 9-3. Zach Pace hit his first homer of the year, and Jimmy Baker hit his sixth. The Sliders didn’t score again till the ninth from a two run double by Bonner. Bonner led the Sliders going 2-4 with three RBI’s.

Brooks went two innings allowing six runs off four hits, and got the loss. The winning pitcher was Bernard Robert who pitched the complete game allowing five runs off ten Slider hits.

Tomorrows series finale is at 7:05 p.m. as Midwest will try to salvage a game in Kalamazoo. James Albury (1-1, 3.60) will be on the mound for Midwest against Brandon Parillo (1-1, 3.46).

AATA notified to vacate Arborland stop

June 16, 2009 by  
Filed under News

From a Press Release by the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority.

1,000 daily riders to be affected

ANN ARBOR, MI – After 30 years of providing transit service at Arborland, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) has received notification terminating the agreement which provided for a bus stop and transfer location in the shopping center, effective July 1.

Over the past year, AATA has worked with Finsilver Friedman Management Corporation of Farmington Hills to successfully resolve the only issue that has been raised, that of bus riders parking close to store entrances. AATA agreed to post signs designating commuter parking areas and to provide on-site staff to monitor the area at critical times.

According to AATA Interim Executive Director Dawn Gabay, about 150 commuters park at Arborland and use AATA bus service to travel to work each day and more than 1,000 riders use the location each weekday.

“AATA has been committed to working with Arborland ownership to find the best solution to this problem,” Gabay said. “The Arborland site is a pivotal transfer location for three bus routes. It provides a safe and convenient off-street location for our passengers to use our system, as well as access to the shopping center for its customers and employees.”

AATA was hopeful that an agreement could be reached that would have been mutually beneficial to the businesses at Arborland, to our riders and to AATA,” Gabay said.

In the short term, AATA plans to locate bus stops near the intersection of Washtenaw Avenue and Pittsfield Boulevard, where there are traffic signals and crosswalks. AATA sees this approach as the best available option for now.

“We contacted the City of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Department of Transportation about development of bus pullouts along the south side of Washtenaw Avenue between Pittsfield and Yost Boulevard, but moving to that site will take approximately a year to plan, obtain permits and construct.”

“Our ultimate concern is providing a safe and convenient bus stop and transfer location for our riders in the highly congested area along Washtenaw Avenue,” Gabay said.

Questions or concerns about this development may be directed to or (734) 794-1880.

Walks Come Back to Hurt Sliders in Loss

June 15, 2009 by  
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KALAMAZOO, MI, June 15, 2009

The Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti fall 9-3 to the Kalamazoo Kings in the late innings. The game was tied heading into the bottom of the sixth, but the Kings scored seven runs in the final three innings to earn the win.

The Kings started off the scoring in the fifth from two singles followed by a Brandon Anderson double to make it two to nothing. The Sliders tied it up in the sixth from a Jimmy Baker two run home run. The homer was Bakers fifth of the season.

In the sixth Kalamazoo scored three runs thanks to two walks, then a double from Simon Williams that drove in two after an error. Midwest answered with a run of their own in the seventh from a Jeremy Jones double followed up by a Jonnie Knoble RBI single to make it 5-3.

The Kings went on to score four runs in the 7th and 8th with help from four Slider walks. In the seventh a walk and single set up a two run double. In the 8th two walks and another double scored two more runs to make it 9-3.

Trent Lare went 6.1 innings, allowing three runs earning his second victory of the season. Mike Penn got the loss going 5.2 allowing four runs off only five hits.

Tomorrow’s game begins at 7:05 p.m. Midwest will put Douglas Brooks (1-1, 4.91) on the mound against Bernard Robert (1-1, 3.46).

Sliders Lose in Two-Run Game

June 15, 2009 by  
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Traverse City, MI, June 14, 2009

The Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti fall 4-2 in series rubber match with the Traverse City Beach Bums. The Sliders wasted a chance in the 8th down three with the bases loaded and no outs, but only scored one run.

The Bums scored the first two runs of the game off three hits in the bottom of the second. The Sliders put a run up in the third off a Zack Pace double, Bryan Bonner scored and Ben Barrone was thrown out at home on the play.

Traverse City added another run in the fourth off a John Alonso solo homerun. In the 8th the Sliders’ loaded the bases from a Barrone single, Pace was hit by a pitch, and Roberto Mena singled. Only one run scored from a Jimmy Baker sacrifice fly though.

“We missed a great opportunity in the 8th,” Eric Coleman Slider’s manager noted. “We had a good pitching performance but didn’t push across runs in 8th.”

Ben Barrone led the Sliders in hitting going three for three on all singles.

Kyle Kearcher (1-3)went six innings allowing three runs and suffered the loss. Brett Bostelman picked up his 5th win of the season going seven innings allowing 2 runs. Jeff Williams got his fifth save coming in, in the 8th to retire five straight.

The Sliders head to Kalamazoo to play the Kings for a three game series. The opener at 7:05 p.m. will have Mike Penn (3-1) on the mound for the Sliders.

Penn Enjoys Success Pitching Back Home

June 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Sports

YPSILANTI, MI, June 12, 2009

Mike Penn has been very productive since coming back home to play professional baseball. Penn has started the season 3-1 for the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti, who have given him an opportunity to pitch close to his home in Dexter and near his alma-mater the University of Michigan.

“I love being back home, to be able to have family come (to the games) is great, and still have a opportunity to be looked at,” said Penn. The 6’3 righty not only pitched four years with the maize and blue, but also met his wife-to-be, Erin, who, at the time, was a U of M volleyball player.

In 2005, the Kansas City Royals selected Penn in the 11th round of Major League Baseball’s annual June amateur draft. He spent the next four years in the Royals organization, pitching for the club’s Arizona rookie league team, the Burlington Bees of the Class-A Midwest League and the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Class-A Carolina League. He was promoted to the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals of the Texas League for the 2007 playoffs, but did not make any appearances. With no Double-A slot open for another starting pitcher, Penn was released on the last day of spring training this year.

Penn’s Minor League stats indicate a fair amount of success: a 9-6 record with a 3.57ERA. In 174 innings, Penn gave up 177 hits. Control has been his forte – he walked just 37 batters while striking out 124.

After his release, Penn saw a great opportunity to come home and pitch close to home with the Sliders.

“It was either pitching here or eight hours from home in Iowa,” Penn said. “So it was an easy decision to finally play again near home.”

Penn is off to an excellent start in his first season of independent professional baseball, winning three of his first four starts. “I’ve been very fortunate so far,” Penn said. “I’ve had great offense when I’ve pitched and have been blessed to pick up the wins. It’s my job to pitch deep into games and give our team an opportunity to win.”

“Mike has been another pitching coach for us,” said pitching coach Cory Domel. He’s a great guy for our younger guys to go to for questions.” Mike is the oldest player on the team at 27 years old, and brings a wealth of experience from his years at Michigan and with the Royals. “His ability to use his years in pro ball is what sets him apart,” Domel commented. “Mike’s seen everything before so he’s never overwhelmed in any situation.”

Penn, who teaches in the Chelsea school district during the offseason, enjoys seeing the Frontier League come to southeast Michigan. “It’s exciting to see minor league baseball in the area,” Penn said. “It’s so much different from the Major League game. You’re close to the players. We have guys on our pitching staff charting pitches in the stands charting pitches who you can just come up and talk to.”

“He’s ad real plus guy to have in the clubhouse,” Sliders Manager Eric Coleman added. “He’s an older guy so he understands what other players are going through.”

As the Sliders head on their 12-game road trip, the longest of the season, Penn is looking to continue his early success and hopes more fans will come out to support the club for their next home game on June 24th.

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