By Kelsie Hoitomt
BOYCEVILLE – The Boyceville baseball team’s reign as conference champions may be a challenge after losing six players including starting pitcher Ryan Bloom, catcher Luke Hellmann and fielders Kyle Franseen, Ben Marusak, Shawn Goodell and Josh Andrews to graduation.
This year’s team is fairly young considering they are led by only two seniors, Matt Leach and Michael Lagerstrom, who were both all-conference last season. Leach is a two-year letter winner and finished the 2012 season with .347 batting average and a 508 on-base average. Lagerstrom is also a two-year letter winner with a .279 batting average and a 358 on-base average in 2012.
The team does bring back a solid group of six juniors with plenty of experience under their cleats including letter winner Jordan Kuhn. There are also two sophomores and five freshman that will round out the rest of the team.
“This group has been very successful at the JV level as they were 11-5 over two years, but they have not had many varsity at bats. We will experience a few growing pains early, but hope to be competitive in conference play,” said head coach Tim Engel.
The Bulldogs finished with a perfect conference record last year of 13-0 and look to fulfill those same goals this season along with Engel in his third year as coach and assistant coach Ron Cipriano and newcomer Ryan Bloom.
Depending on field conditions, the Bulldogs are scheduled to play their first game of the season on Tuesday, April 2 at home against Amery and then that Thursday, April 4 at home for their first conference game against Mondovi. All games are scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m.
Seniors: Matt Leach, Michael Lagerstrom
Juniors: Jordan Kuhn, Nick Wathke, A.J. Volk, Jon Erickson, Jason Erickson, Kyle Draeger
Sophomores: Alex Lovett, Brett Boda
Freshmen: Noah Edlin, Tanner Sinz, Jack Kapsner, Wyatt Swenson, Kevin Clark