Schiff relearns shortstop position with Cloverleafs
Mason Schiff was taking a summer refresher course.
“It has been interesting and that’s the main reason why I went (to play for the Cloverleafs),” said Schiff, who is going to be junior for the Marauders. “It has been definitely been a learning experience. It has been getting better each and every game. I’ve been getting more and more comfortable.”
The Cloverleafs benefitted from Schiff at shortstop as he was named MSBL First-Team All-Star shortstop. However, due to rainouts, the MSBL All-Star game was cancelled.
Yet, Schiff and the rest of the Cloverleafs captured more than just a chance to appear at the MSBL All-Star game. The Cloverleafs defeated the Brandon Marlins in six games during a best-of-seven series to win the MSBL Championship on Saturday.
Schiff finished the 20-game regular season hitting .324 with three doubles, 15 RBI and scored 11 runs. In the playoffs, Schiff went 6 of 25 (.240 average) with two doubles and scored six runs.
“That was really cool,” Schiff said. “Before I went up there, I was told they had an All-Star game half way through the season. It ended up that there so many rain delays at the beginning of the year, they had to cancel the All-Star game.”
The Cloverleafs finished with the best record in the MSBL regular season at 16-4. The Marlins were runner-up in the league with a 15-4-1 record.
Prior to the MSBL Championship series, the Marlins held a 3-1 advantage and outscored the Cloverleafs by a combined 18-13.
“They had some pitchers, who shut us down in a few of the games this year,” Schiff said.
The last time Schiff played shortstop was more than four years ago when he was with the Dickinson High baseball team.
During his final two seasons with the Midgets and the Dickinson American Legion Roughriders, Schiff primarily played second base and pitched. At Mary, the Trinity graduate played sparingly as a freshman then moved to third base full time as a sophomore.
As a sophomore, Schiff finished with a .192 average in 37 games. He posted 20 hits in 104 at bats with 12 RBI and scored 10 runs.
Mary’s head coach Joel Barta told Schiff he would be the starting shortstop during his junior season.
“Ever since my freshman or sophomore year (of high school), I’ve been pitching, so I had to play third or second to save my arm,” Schiff said. “I wouldn’t be able to play shortstop and pitch. Coach Barta told me that (Mary) wouldn’t need me to pitch, so I could focus on shortstop.”
Schiff wasn’t the only Marauder playing for the Cloverleafs this summer. He was accompanied by teammates Zach Steckler and Jason Shaul. Steckler will enter his junior season with Mary, while Shaul is going to be a senior.
During the MSBL regular season, Steckler went 3-1 in four starts with a 3.34 earned run average and 29 strikeouts over 35 innings. Shaul supplied a .360 average with a RBI and scored 10 runs.
“There are a couple of guys that came up and played with me from U-Mary,” Schiff said. “They did really well. There are also former college players and they can still play just as good as anybody. There are a lot of good players.”
McGregor is the sports editor for The Dickinson Press. Contact him at 701-456-1214 or tweet him @SirRoyal.