HUDSON – Let it be known that there is little debate in the Horwath household who has the sweetest swing on the diamond. Dinah does.
“I like my swing and I think it’s good but, honestly, I have to say she does,” said Ambrose Horwath, a junior three-sport athlete at Hudson High School in Lenawee County.
“I think mine is better,” said Dinah, laughing – but agreeing.
No matter whose swing is better, they both are swinging hot bats this spring.
Going into this week, Dinah Horwath, a sophomore, was batting .479 and has been at or around .500 all season. She is the Lenawee County leader in hits (46), runs (44) and RBI (36).
Ambrose is batting a healthy .466. He’s among the Lenawee County leaders in hits (41), runs (37), RBIs (34), pitching wins (8) and strikeouts (49).
The two have a sibling rivalry, but there’s no competition to who will have the highest average at the end of the season. That’s because they are both rooting for each other.
“A couple of weeks ago, Ambrose was in a two or three-day slump,” said Hudson athletic director and varsity baseball coach Jeremy Beal. “After our practice I walked back to our field and there was Ambrose and Dinah. She was throwing soft toss to him. They must have had two buckets of balls.
“I’ve seen that before among brothers, but never a brother and sister. It was awesome.”
Ambrose’s slump didn’t last long.
“They pull for each other, and both have really good attitudes,” Beal said.
The Horwaths are a sports-crazed family. Father Lance is a Waldron native who is a principal in the Hudson school district and the Tigers varsity boys basketball coach. He played college baseball at Defiance, where he met Jamie. They were later married and had two kids – Ambrose and Dinah.
“I played college baseball with her brothers,” he said. “That’s how we met.”
Horwath was a teacher at Camden-Frontier when he moved into the Hudson district a little more than two decades ago. Ambrose has been a varsity basketball player since his freshman season and will go into his senior campaign a few 3-pointers shy of 1,000 career points. He also was a starter on Hudson’s Division 8 championship football team in the fall.
Dinah has plenty of varsity experience herself, despite being just as sophomore. She was second on the team in scoring this past basketball season and one of the area's top 3-point shooters. She said she and Ambrose often play one-on-one in basketball.
“We’ve done that since we were little,” she said. “We’re competitive, but we get along very well. We don’t really fight.”
Lance Horwath said the two of them are often together working on either their shot in basketball or swing in baseball/softball.
“They are always playing something,” Lance said. “Sports is a big part of our family. They’ve both been playing since before they even started school. It’s cool to see them together. They are very supportive of one another.”
Dinah, who is considering pursuing a career in sports management, throws right-handed in softball but has been batting from the left side of the box since she picked up a bat.
“From Day 1, she’s batted lefthanded,” Lance Horwath said. “I put her on the left side of the plate because that’s how I batted, and I wanted to teach her. She makes good contact.
“I love how she’s carved out her own niche in softball. She played travel ball when she was younger. She just loves playing the sport.”
Hudson softball coach Amy Hill said Dinah is constantly trying to get better.
“Her secret is she works very hard,” Hill said. “She puts in the time to improve and takes practice time seriously. She spends a lot of time on the tee. She’s a coach’s dream, always looking for ways to improve.”
During Hudson’s baseball and softball games, Lance and Jamie try to find a location where they can stand and watch both games.
“In Hudson, we can stand along the leftfield line and see both games,” he said. “They are both fun to watch. We’re blessed.”
If one sibling’s game ends early, the other gets to the other field as quickly as possible.
“I like it when our games get done so I can get over and see him play,” Dinah said.
Ambrose is no different.
“It’s cool to get to watch her games,” he said. “Every time I look over there or go watch, she’s on base.”
Ambrose said sports came natural to them.
“We will go out and hit together two or three times a week,” he said. “We’ve always been very close. It helps, I think, that we are only one year apart.
Hudson’s baseball team is looking to make some history this spring. The football and wrestling teams have already captured state championships, as did the competitive cheer team. The baseball team is 23-5 and close to winning at least a share of its first Lenawee County Athletic Association championship since 1968.
The Tigers are 9-3 with a doubleheader remaining against Ida. Onsted leads the league at 8-2 but has doubleheaders remaining against Clinton and Dundee, both formidable opponents.
“We need some help for that to happen,” Ambrose said. “But we just have to take care of our games first.”
Doug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.
PHOTOS (Top) Dinah, left, and brother Ambrose Horwath are among Lenawee County’s leading hitters in their respective sports. (Middle) Dinah prepares for the pitch from her spot in the infield. (Below) Ambrose makes his move toward the plate. (Photos by Rachel Stiverson.)
Standish-Sterling’s run to the 2022 Division 3 Semifinals was driven in part by a record-setting offense, including a pair of senior standouts who posted single-season and career highlights.
The Panthers made the team record book in four categories, topped by a record 28 triples over 42 games. They also were added for 371 RBI (fourth all-time), 425 runs (12th) and 414 hits.
Cole Prout tied the MHSAA record for runs scored in one season with 84 and set the record with 27 career triples over three seasons (with 2020 canceled due to COVID-19). His 13 triples in 2022 tied for third on that list, while Chase Raymond’s 10 tied for 11th. Prout also tied for 12th all-time with 182 career runs, while Raymond is eighth on the single-season RBI list with 77 over 42 games in 2022 and earned a career RBI entry with 140.
Prout plays now at Central Michigan, and Raymond is playing at Saginaw Valley State.
See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA baseball record book:
Alden Stefanovski played a major role in Whitmore Lake reaching the 2022 Division 4 Semifinals. The senior also made the record book with 20 doubles over 33 games, the first from his school to earn a listing. He was joined in 2023 in the records by senior Alex Di Dio, who hit nine triples over 29 games and also three home runs in one game April 13 against Adrian Madison. Di Dio also was added for 13 triples and a .460 average for his three-season career, and he’s continuing at Kalamazoo College.
Trenton senior Jason Marshall was nearly unstoppable on the base paths during the 2022 season – and perfect stealing on them. He made the record book with 49 steals in 49 attempts, and also for seven triples over 35 games. He’s playing football at Eastern Michigan.
Trent Hagenbach finished his Saginaw Valley Lutheran career in 2022 tied for 11th on the career triples list with 16 despite not having a 2020 season and hitting all of them over the final two. He also made the records for his seven as a junior and nine as a senior.
Dansville had 10 pitchers contribute to its 388 strikeouts over 38 games during the 2022 season, a total which placed the Aggies second all-time. Tucker Mosley paced the team with 137 strikeouts.
Parchment’s Aaron Jasiak finished his three-season varsity career with seven record book entries, including one of the most impressive winning streaks all-time. He won all 26 pitching starts over his career, which didn’t start until his sophomore season because of the COVID-related cancelation of 2020. His winning streak is the seventh longest in MHSAA history, and his 0.87 ERA ranks 11th. He also made career lists with 163 runs scored, 112 stolen bases and a .460 batting average over 103 games, and his 60 steals over 38 games this spring rank 10th. He’s continuing at Hillsdale College.
Bay City Western finished 42-2 in winning the Division 1 championship in 2013, ranking sixth for most wins in a baseball season. The Warriors also tied the record with 21 shutouts, and their 1.02 ERA ranks fifth all-time.
Grandville Calvin Christian senior Blake Pettijohn struck out 20 batters in a 7-0 win over Belding on May 11, which tied for seventh-most for a seven-inning game. He’s continuing at Hope College.
Grant’s Oakley Obenauf made the single-season stolen bases list in the spring with 45 over 29 games – and was a major contributor as his team made the single-game list multiple times. He had a combined eight steals over two games as Grant swiped 13 and 11 bases during halves of a doubleheader May 11. Obenauf is a senior this school year.
Paw Paw reached the team record book this past spring after being hit by 50 pitches over 30 games. Seven players were hit by at least five pitches, with the team leader totaling 10.
Lansing Eastern earned its first record book entries from a pair of graduating seniors this spring. Dominic Wilson capped his three-season varsity career with 134 stolen bases, which rank 10th. He swiped a career-high 51 as a senior. Teammate Matthew Stevenson made the career batting average list at .472 despite getting only eight at bats as a sophomore because of an injury.
Benzie Central’s Wyatt Noffsinger enjoyed a memorable run to nearly finish off his high school career, throwing consecutive no-hitters against Buckley on May 24 and then Manton on June 3.
Okemos then-junior Caleb Bonemer earned his first record book entry with three home runs June 3 against Grand Ledge as his team clinched a Division 1 District title. Bonemer has committed to sign with Virginia.
After 45 years, Flint Southwestern’s Ruben Luna and Risto Nicevski were added for their accomplishments on the 1978 Class A championship team. Luna made the wins list with a record of 14-0 and the ERA list with a 0.71, and Nicevski made the ERA list with a 0.72. Both went on to play at Michigan State.
East Lansing’s Sam Busch enjoyed a career day on April 12, 2019, when he hit three home runs in consecutive at bats against Ionia. A junior that season, he’s now playing at Michigan State.
Powers North Central’s Adrian Mercier enjoyed a record-worthy junior season this spring. He hit .619 over 32 games, ranking 10th all-time for a single season.
Whitehall senior Cayden Ritchie chased and nearly caught the single-season stolen base record in 2021, when he tied for second with 72 steals over 36 games. He also made the single-game steals list five times, twice with a high of six.
Aidan Liedeke capped his Brighton Charyl Stockwell career in the spring with some of the most impressive strikeout numbers in state history. Already listed for averaging 15.41 strikeouts per game as a junior in 2022, he averaged 14.92 Ks per game this spring to finish his three-season career at 15 strikeouts per game. He posted a 0.88 ERA in the spring as well to finish with a career 1.52. He’s playing at Kalamazoo College.
Killian Bies finished his Marshall three-season career in the spring among leaders all-time for getting hit by pitches. He already had tied for sixth as a sophomore in 2021 with 22 HBPs, and with 14 more both his junior and senior seasons he finished with 50 to rank fifth on that list. He’s continuing at Cornerstone.
PHOTO Standish-Sterling's Cole Prout (8) readies for a pitch during his team's 2022 Division 3 Semifinal.