Baseball ready to step up to the plate
The warming weather is a sign that baseball is just around the corner, and this is true for the Carroll University baseball team which is set to begin play March 6 in Ft. Meyers, Fla.
“We’re the last season to start in the school year,” said Head Coach Jason Kosanke. “So everyone else gets to unwrap that gift, so to speak, and then we get going.”
The first eight games of the season will take place in the warm Florida climate. The next three games are in Fulton, Mo. followed by two more games in Naperville, Ill. before the Pioneers finally host their homeopener against University of Wisconsin – Platteville Apr. 2.
Conference play starts six days later when Carroll takes on Lawrence University.
“We’d like to come back [from Florida] at least six and two,” Kosanke said. “I was extremely disappointed in our year last year.”
After returning from their spring trip with a six and two record, the 2009 Pioneer team managed to win just two more games, finishing with an 8-25 record, winning only a single game in conference play.
“We believe we’re much better than an eight win team and we need to go out there and prove that,” Kosanke said.
Much of the 2009 team has returned for the 2010 campaign including hitters George Simons, Mike Karpinski and Matt Eschenbauch and pitchers Steve Belknap, Jason Pattengale and Joe Zacharias. This season’s focus will be on improving their record.
Karpinski leads the returning team with 21 hits from 2009 while Eschenbauch leads returners with 12 RBIs. On the pitching side, Pattengale returns after pitching more innings then any Pioneer in 2009 while Belknap returns after claiming the most Pioneer wins.
“We want to be .500 or better in the conference,” Kosanke said. “We’d like to have a winning record overall.”
Last season, Carroll was outscored 372-194 and had an ERA nearly twice the average of their opponents. Considering they won less than a quarter of their games with those stats, there is plenty of room for improvement.
“We’ve got a good mix of younger guys and returning guys,” Kosanke said. “There is a lot of competition for playing time across the age range.”
With any luck, the friendly competition will make way for better results on the field and, ultimately, a better record in 2010.