Steve Pickens Takes Over at Beal City
BEAL CITY – The Beal City baseball program is welcoming a new face to its dugout this spring.
After leading the Aggies to Division 4 state championships in 2013 and 2014 and a pair of Division 4 runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2010, longtime coach Brad Antcliff stepped down at the conclusion of the 2016 season. Antcliff, who resigned to spend more time with his family, concluded a 10-year career with a record of 308-64-5.
In Antcliff’s place steps in Steve Pickens, who takes over a Beal City team that has won 13 consecutive Highland Conference championships and seven of the last eight district titles.
Pickens is joined by his son, Scott, the longtime bullpen catcher for the Detroit Tigers and former professional baseball player, who spent three seasons in the independent Frontier League, playing for the Chillicothe Paints and Florence Freedom. Scott Pickens will assist his dad a few days a week.
"He (Scott Pickens) said, I’ll come in with you, and help you out if you need help,” Steve Pickens said. “He enthusiasm he brings to these kids… I think the kids want to hear it from a guy that’s been in the pros, other than an old guy like me as much."
"He’s dealt with Verlander, Zumaya, Porcello, Brandon Inge,” added senior Thomas McCann. “He teaches us tricks that Brandon Inge taught him… He teaches us how to throw pitches that other guys taught him that are doing it at the professional level. So, it really doesn’t get much better than that."
Beal City is slated to open its season at Shepherd on Wednesday, April 12.