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Tournaments | Story | 6/28/2019


Hit Dogs have hit parade

Jack Nelson        
Photo: Hudson Davenport (Perfect Game)

HOOVER, Ala. – Hosting the SEC tournament each May, the Hoover Met has become the Mecca of Southeast college baseball. But on Friday, it was the Michigan based Motor City Hit Dogs that stole the show, as they opened pool play of the WWBA 14u National Championship with a loud 10-0 triumph over the Hoover Ridiculous.

Fresh off the University of Michigan’s impressive run to the College World Series Finals, Motor City’s win reflects a larger trend in the national baseball landscape. Michigan baseball is legit, and it is here to stay.

“It’s great for any Midwest team to make it that far,” said coach Len Grimmer. “A lot of these kids live close to Ann Arbor, so when they see the success the college guys are having in the cold weather and how they are working hard indoors, I think it gives them some inspiration that they can do that too. The University of Michigan is really turning the state around as far as baseball goes.”

“It was cool to watch Michigan have so much success,” said Hudson Davenport. “It would be really special to do something like that one day. We want to be like them.”

While the Wolverines fell just short of a national championship, the Motor City boys have a good chance to capture one this week in Hoover. They wasted no time in asserting their presence, as Davenport belted a triple in the bottom of the first inning to score two. In the third, Tyler Stepek laced a triple of his own that tacked on a pair of runs. The scoring culminated in a three run fifth that was the product of a Prestyn Carter bases clearing double to push the lead to 10 and enact the mercy rule.

Motor City received solid pitching of Parker Brzustewicz, who worked 4 2/3 innings of shutout ball. He struck out four, scattered three hits, and was an impressive 70 percent strikes.

The center of the American automobile industry, Detroit is a city that knows how to build. The Motor City is the birthplace of GM, Chrysler, and Ford. You have to add the Hit Dogs to the list of well-oiled machines forged in Motown.

“We start them young, around seven years old,” said Grimmer. “So these guys have been playing together for quite some time. Mostly Michigan guys, although there are a couple from Ohio. The organization has been around for 15 years, and now its really rolling. The kids buy in to what we teach and what we’re trying to do.”

Player development in northern climates can be tricky. It takes a lot of creativity and dedication to properly prepare for the season that lies ahead. There are also more distractions. Kids can go play hockey or basketball. They could even take up skiing or snowboarding. But for those that stay the path, this environment develops hungry, tough, and coachable players that college coaches and pro teams are increasingly looking for.

“So many of these kids do a lot their work individually because they have to,” said Grimmer. “The weather makes it tough to get outside as a team, so we are forced to do a lot indoors. We get in the cages a couple times a week, and a local high school has a nice facility we can use. But I give a lot of credit to the parents, who support these kids so much every step of the way.”

During the broadcast of the College World Series, broadcaster Karl Ravech repeatedly told the story of how Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin looks for recruits of high character. How a player supports his teammates and displays common courtesy are equally as important as throwing 95 mph. That is why the Hit Dogs focus on teaching their boys life skills from a very young age.

“We trying to teach them to be good men,” said Grimmer. “We want them to respect the game, respect the umpires, respect the other team. And then just go out there and play as hard as you can. I tell them that if you do all these things, everything has a way of working out for you.”

The proof is in the pudding for the Hit Dogs. Alumni of the program include 2015 first round pick Nick Plummer and 2019 second round pick Karl Kaufman, a former Perfect Game All American and star of Michigan’s run to Omaha this year. In total, they have had seven players drafted and more than 120 college commits. And Motor City sends their kids to top institutions, too. Both 2019 high school grads, Colin Czajkowski will play at Michigan and Jon Campbell will head east to Boston College. The success speaks to the strength of the Motor City model, but also to the overall talent there is in the state as a whole.

“There’s great competition in Michigan,” said Davenport. “We play really good teams up there, so when we come down here it’s honestly not a huge difference. We are very well prepared to win, and we expect to have a good tournament.”

Raised in a blue-collar city and hardened by the seasons, this Hit Dogs team has impressive talent in Davenport, Stepek, and first basement Blake Grimmer. There is also no shortage of confidence, as the boys are here to do some damage.

“We’re here to win the national championship,” said Stepek. “And we believe we can do it.”


Longtime Hit Dog Jase Bowen Signs WIth The Pittsburgh Pirates

More than 120 NCAA College icon





Nick Plummer 2015 1st round ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Blaise Salter 2016  31st round DETROIT TIGERS

Matt Ruppenthal 2016  17th round HOUSTON ASTROS

Harrison Wenson 2016  22nd round ANAHEIM ANGELS

Sterling Sharp 2016  22rd round WASHINGTON  NATIONALS

Karl Kaufman 2019 2nd round COLORADO ROCKIES

Jase Bowen 2019 11th round PITTSBURGH PIRATES





Congrats to our 9u STATE CHAMPS


Great life experience for Tony “CA”. Exceptional coaches and wonderful loving team family.
We all loved being part of this baseball family.

Learn baseball the right way. Excellent program bar none. Paul Baetz Chief of USSSA Umpires.

Only Michigan team to be mention in Travel Ball Select National Rankings top 20! Motor City Hit Dogs 12U come in at #6 and 9U come in at #5 - these 2 ages close to my heart but amazing accomplishment for 13U to come in at #3! So - are we heading back to East Cobb!???

Program Testimonials

Matt Sandles to Mcbc Hitdogs

This is the BEST travel baseball program in Michigan, bar none. When you look at their player development, list of alumni, and success both on and off the field, this is a program parents should be looking at. I am very, very impressed with what the Hit Dogs have to offer and have accomplished.

Motor City HIT DOGS

The Motor City Hit Dogs have been the leader of youth baseball in the Midwest for over 13 years. We are recognized by USSSA, PERFECT GAME & TRIPLE CROWN  as one of the top 10 programs nationally.  We are a high quality youth program emphasizing advanced skills and technique within a competitive environment. Superior coaching of the fundamentals, multiple practice facilities and solid parental support are the backbones of this elite program, with the development of players tools being the number one priority.

ATTENTION 4-9 year old's


Registration period for the 2019/20 MCBC Hit Dogs Little Dogs Academy is now open! Only 15 spots per session available- they go QUICK every year. Don't wait!

Session One:

October - end of December

Session Two:

January - end of March

SPOTS GO VERY FAST FOR THIS ACADEMY. Contact Coach Conklin ASAP if you’re interested.

The Motor City Baseball Club (MCBC) Hit Dogs "Little Dogs" program for 4-9 year old’s is a development training program that will focus on the fundamentals of baseball at a young age. These young boys will learn proper hitting mechanics, fielding mechanics, base running, and pitching. The boys will have a lot of fun while learning the game at the same time. Training will be two days a week through the end of the session. Also, our indoor infield, at our facility, provides us the opportunity to play scrimmages indoor during the winter as well as ample area to do many various types of baseball training drills. Select players from this program will be invited to play for our 8U MCBC team for the following 8U season. We have a proven track record at MCBC- we train to develop.

The training will be done by our top Motor City Hit Dogs head coaches and trainers: coach Devon Conklin, who is the current head JV baseball coach at Waterford Mott High School (district champions and regional finalists in 2018) as well as the current 15U MCBC Hit Dog head coach as well as our individual and team trainer when not with his 15U team. Devon will be assisted by coach Tony Leonard, one of the best coaches around at teaching the game. Coach Leonard’s teams have been ranked nationally year in and year out in USSSA power rankings. Your son will receive top notch training for three months and is guaranteed to greatly improve their game.

If interested, please contact Coach Conklin for the registration form.

Come check us out at the......

 Dog Pound



9u wins the State title. This team went 5-0 and scored 73 runs and gave up 8. Well done boys.

12u wind there 2nd Super Nit going 6-0.

9u wins there 2nd Super Nit going 6-0.

11u wins there 2nd Super Nit going 6-0.

11u wins the Super Select 30 NIT.

9u wins the Super Select 30 NIT. Their 2nd Championship in two weeks.

8u wins the Championship at the Super Select 30 NIT.

    12u Hit Dog Softball win the Championship at the Wolverine Buckeye Challenge. They scored 24 runs in the final game.

    9u Ranked 2nd in the Country by USSSA.

    12u Hit Dogs Softball.

    12u Ranked #1 in the Country by USSSA.

    12u Super Select 30 NIT Winner. 3rd Championship in 3 weeks.

    13u wins Super Select 30 NIt. 3rd Championship this season.

    14u wins the Championship Super Select 30 NIT.

    Facility 2

    Facility 2

    The Dog on picture for directions

    Facility 2

    Facility 2

    Facility 2

    Click on Picture for Directions

    Scott Leonard

    Co-Owner, Head Coach, Trainer, and Board Member

    Phone: 313-334-8306

    Tony Leonard

    Tony Leonard

    Co-Owner, Head Coach, Trainer, and Board Member

    Devon Conklin

    Devon Conklin

    Head Coach, Team/Individual Trainer, and Board Member