Story by Sam Bell, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Andris Visockis
Spring is in the air. The weather is getting warmer (depending on the day), the very little snow we accumulated this winter is melting, and the men’s baseball season is less than a month away. The squad is slated to start their 2016 season with a spring break trip to Florida, March 6-12.
This season will be a unique one, in a variety of ways. One of these things is having a veteran team.
“We have eleven seniors,” head coach Douglas Greenslate said. “Our team chemistry and our leadership have been excellent.”
Along with the plethora of veteran talent the team has this year, there is also a good amount of talented young blood that is looking to help the Saints to a winning season, including first-years Jack Garthe, Alex Hart and Noah Gloe. Although there are 7 incoming first-years, new coming infielder Drew Hernandez is confident that they will be able to adjust, and in doing so help the team win.
“I think the first-years have been putting in a lot of hard work that will allow us to adjust to college ball more easily,” Hernandez said.
One of the biggest challenges the team will face this season is staying healthy. According to Coach Greenslate, this will be a key to the team’s success.
“We have some very good position players that were affected by injuries last year, Greenslate said. “The key to this season will be our players staying healthy.”
The team is also looking to build depth, especially in their pitching rotation. “Our two top pitchers return from last year, but we need to build depth, and mature quickly with the lack of experience we have in our pitching staff,” coach Greenslate said.
The boys have a very full schedule this season, having 62 games in 63 days, stretching from March 6-May 5. This season will also be unique for a very different reason; not only are they playing for the wins, but also for a fallen teammate.
Earlier this school year, first-year teammate Evan Kimball was killed in a car accident. This tragedy shook the campus to the core, and the boys haven’t forgotten their friend, brother and teammate.
“Our motto is #Play4Evan, we all wrote EK4 on our hats and we have stickers that say that on our helmets too,” Hernandez said. Their goal is to have a winning season not only for themselves, but for a guy they grew to love in the short time they knew him.
Be sure to go watch the Saints kick off their season on home turf on Wednesday, March 23 at 2 p.m. against Davenport University.
About the writer…
Sam Bell is a sophomore from Mackinaw City. She played three sports in grade school, including basketball, volleyball, and softball. Outside of reporting on sports, Sam enjoys listening to music, hanging out with her friends, and with her cat, Oliver. She is a Psychology and Community Leadership major and is considering Sports Journalism.