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PHOTO GALLERY: Former Mt. Pleasant, CMU baseball standout William Arnold brings winning attitude to coaching ranks

  • Photo by Nate Schneider - William Arnold, who was a standout at Mt. Pleasant High School and Central Michigan University, is the head coach of the Central Michigan Stars this summer.
  • Photo by Nate Schneider - William Arnold, who was a standout at Mt. Pleasant High School and Central Michigan University, is the head coach of the Central Michigan Stars this summer.
  • Photo by Nate Schneider - William Arnold, who was a standout at Mt. Pleasant High School and Central Michigan University, is the head coach of the Central Michigan Stars this summer.
  • Photo by Nate Schneider - Central Michigan Stars second baseman Robert Backus gets a hit in Saturday's 15-8 victory over the West Michigan Riptide.
Not so long ago, William Arnold was one of the stars of the Central Michigan Stars.

Now six years after wrapping up a tremendous prep career at Mt. Pleasant High School and two years after finishing his collegiate career at Central Michigan as an All-MAC catcher, Arnold is entrenched in the coaching ranks.

Arnold joined the Central Michigan University coaching staff in 2013 as an undergraduate student assistant, while upon graduation he was named a volunteer assistant coach.

With summer baseball in full swing, Arnold has taken the reins as coach of the Central Michigan Stars team which has turned heads by advancing to the Palomino World Series the past three years including in 2011 when they won the championship.

As for this summer, the Stars now carry a 4-3 record after winning three of four games in their home tournament this weekend at Theunissen Stadium. Central Michigan lost 5-4 in eight innings to Gladwin in Sunday’s championship game.

But looking at the bigger picture, the goal for Arnold and his squad is once again to get back to California and the Palomino World Series.

“That’s what the CM Stars do. We win,” Arnold said. “We set that as one of our goals at our first meeting. We don’t expect anything less.”

A confident coach plus a roster full of players who know how to miss will surely help in the process of getting back to the Palomino World Series. Central Michigan boasts four players from the Division 2 champion Mt. Pleasant baseball team plus another two from Beal City’s D4 runner-up squad. The rest of the 17-player roster consists of many top 19-under players in the mid-Michigan area.

“It’s a sophomore and junior dominated team but I went for guys from winning programs. We wanted guys who know how to win,” said Arnold, who played summer ball for the Stars during his prep days. “We still have guys that are driving with their parents back and forth to games, but I don’t mind as long as they play the game the right way and they win.”

Arnold certainly came from a winning high school program at Mt. Pleasant, where he helped lead the Oilers to the 2007 D2 state championship and a 2008 runner-up finish. His game-winning RBI single to the left field fence in the bottom of the seventh of the 2007 semifinal against St. Claire Shores Lake Shore ranks as one of the most legendary hits in Mt. Pleasant history.

His playing career at Central Michigan culminated with him helping to lead the Chippewas to the MAC title game in 2012. Arnold led CMU in RBIs, walks and fielding percentage as a senior.

But how did Arnold find his way into coaching following the conclusion of his playing career?

“I’ve always loved baseball even when I had football and basketball as well in high school,” Arnold said. “I’ve always loved being around it. I had a lot of friends on the team after I was done playing at Central, so I was able to transition into it. I was able to bump up into the volunteer spot the next year and we’ll see where it takes me. I’m enjoying every minute of it. It obviously has ups and downs that go with winning and losing, but I absolutely love it.”

In getting into the world of coaching, Arnold has been able to take bits of pieces from all the coaches he has played for including Luke Epple at Mt. Pleasant and Steve Jaksa at Central Michigan.

“Most of the coaches I’ve played with have had a big impact on me,” Arnold added. “Even when I played Pony League with Nate Grinzinger when we lost in the Zone Tournament probably 12 years ago, it’s all molded into what I think my own personal style is and what works best for the group of guys that I have on my team.”

Assisting Arnold on the Central Michigan Stars staff are former Breckenridge and CMU pitcher Kenton San Miguel along with former Clare and Northwood standout Tyler Beatty.

In Sunday’s tournament title game versus Gladwin, the Stars overcame a 3-0 deficit to send the game into extra innings before falling in the eighth frame.

Shepherd’s Ryan Cline got Central Michigan on the board in the fifth inning with an RBI single and the Stars scored another run that at-bat to cut the score to 3-2.

In the seventh inning, a sacrifice fly by Mt. Pleasant grad Robert Backus tied the score at 3-3. Central Michigan proceeded to take a 4-3 advantage in the top of the eighth via a run-scoring single by Ty Rollin (Beal City), but it turned out to not be enough.

Gladwin tied the game in the bottom half of the inning off Rollin and then loaded the bases with still no one out. After the next two batters were recorded on pop outs, an RBI infield single accounted for the game-winning run.



Last Updated: 6/22/2014 4:09:58 PM EST

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