Baseball
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With 2020 in the rearview mirror, here we go again for West Bloomfield baseball.

Let’s try this again.

A year after having his first season as West Bloomfield High School baseball coach taken away from him when spring sports were canceled by the Michigan High School Athletic Association because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Josh Birnberg is gearing up again to guide the Lakers.

“Last year, we had tryouts, I picked our team, and we were done. We never had a practice,” Birnberg said. “I was so disappointed for my eight seniors.”

Josh Birnberg’s first game as West Bloomfield High School baseball coach also will be the first game on the new turf at the school’s baseball field.
Josh Birnberg’s first game as West Bloomfield High School baseball coach also will be the first game on the new turf at the school’s baseball field. Josh Birnberg

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, here we go again for West Bloomfield baseball.

Tryouts for the team will be March 22-24, followed by a Thursday, March 25, practice and the Lakers’ opening day game at 4:30 p.m., Friday March 26, against non-league opponent Lincoln Park.

This will be a special opener not only because it will be Birnberg’s first game as West Bloomfield’s coach.

It will be the first game on the new turf at West Bloomfield’s baseball field. The turf was installed last year thanks to a 14-year, 1.25-mil building and site sinking fund approved by school district voters in 2013.

West Bloomfield’s softball and practice fields also were renovated as part of a $1.8 million project.

“We’ve had four-man workouts on our turf, but the baseball season won’t feel real until we have our tryouts, practice and opening day game,” Birnberg said.

“I’m feeling confident that we will have a season. We play outdoors, of course, people are being vaccinated, and the [COVID-19 infection and hospitalization] numbers are going in the right direction.”

Birnberg, 25, is a former West Bloomfield baseball player who was the Lakers’ starting shortstop for four years and the team captain as a junior and senior.

West Bloomfield won a district championship when he was a senior, stunning Birmingham Brother Rice, and advanced to the regional finals.