Letter winners abound on Minnewaska baseball team
With 10 letter winners returning, Minnewaska baseball head coach Brian Gruber is excited to get the season under way.
Gruber, who is in his second year as head coach for the Lakers, lost three players from his 5-15 team last year, so returning veterans will be the key.
"With a strong core of returning letter winners, we are looking to build off last year's experience," he said. "We are returning our four top hitters from last season in Jon Nygaard, Austin Giese, Austin Ostrander and Jake Amundson, respectively.
"Zack Sanford and Tyler Nielsen return with many varsity at-bats under their belts and will bolster the team on the offensive side of the ball.
"Bryce Miodus is coming off a shoulder injury from last season, and Christian Rorvig will be looking to compete for some at-bats at the varsity level this spring."
And with the late spring comes the late start to outdoor action, a trouble for all sports in Minnesota this year.
"With the weather delaying the start of this season, pitching is going to be of vital importance," said Gruber. "Teams may be looking at four, possibly five games a week this spring, and our pitching depth should prove to be a key to our success."
Gruber's pitching staff is nearly intact from last year as Riley Thompson, Jake Amundson and Austin Giese will lead the team after throwing the majority of the innings on varsity last year.
"Their ability to log quality innings again this season will be key to the team's success," he noted. "Jayden Beecher, Austin Ostrander, Tyler Nielsen and Zack Sanford have looked very good off the mound in practice, and newcomer Matt Paulson looks to build off his success from his JV season last spring."
Despite no outdoor action yet, the Lakers are making the best of their indoor practices.
"All the boys have been working very hard in the gym and I have been very pleased with the effort and leadership shown by our seniors, especially," Gruber said. "Their leadership and enthusiasm have helped lead to a positive start to the pre-season workouts for the team.
"Hopefully, the weather warms up soon, so we can show off our brand of baseball and have a fun and successful season."
SENIORS - Austin Giese, IF/OF/P; Bryce Miodus, IF; Christian Rorvig, IF/P; Jake Amundson, SS/P; Tyler Nielsen, OF/P; Zack Sanford, IF/P.
JUNIORS - Andrew Kinney; Austin Ostrander, IF/OF/P; Cory Johnshoy; Hunter Thompson; Jayden Beecher, OF/IF/P; Laken Steidler-Thompson.
SOPHOMORES - Jackson Hendrickson; Jonathan Nygaard, C/IF/P; Luke Nielsen; Matt Paulson, OF/P; Matt Schultenover; Mike Maus; Riley Thompson, IF/P; Tyler Sandford; William Anderson.
COACHES - Brian Gruber, head coach; Darby Bjorgan, assistant coach; Gordy Moen, assistant coach.