Baseball Picked Sixth in Preseason Poll
ST. PAUL - The MLC baseball team was picked to finish sixth in the conference this season in the preseason poll released by the UMAC.
MLC is looking to take the next step as a program in 2013, hoping to secure a finish in the top half of the standings and a bid in the UMAC Postseason Tournament with a roster that returns a number of experienced players.
The Knights return eight players from their 2012 line-up, led by Honorable Mention All-UMAC honoree Aaron Stokke at catcher. Stokke led the Knights with 17 RBI and six doubles last season. He will be joined in the middle of the order by outfielder Andrew Nemmers, who led the team in batting average (.338) and slugging percentage (.408) as a freshman in 2012, while outfielders Jake Ziel and Joe Schmudlach, and infielders Galen Holzhueter, Brad Essig, Ben Edmundson and Tyler Dorn also return after starting last season. Newcomers Matt Olson, Wyatt Weimer and James Hemmelman could see time in the infield this season, while William Jensen and Dillon Rannow are options for Coach Randy Cox in the outfield.
MLC will also get a boost from a pair of experienced players who were not on the roster a season ago. Joe Janke was named All-UMAC in 2010 and honorable mention all-conference in 2011, and returns this season in the infield and on the mound. Joel Hering finished second on the team in batting average (.303) in 2011 before sitting out last season, and figures to see time at catcher and in the outfield.
The Knights return a group of experienced pitchers, led by junior Jake Ziel. Ziel led the Knights in innings (59.2), strikeouts (54), wins (three) and ERA (4.83) in 2012, and received honorable mention all-conference recognition for his efforts. He’ll be joined in the rotation by sophomore Andrew Nemmers, who showed promise throughout last season and finished with a record of 2-5, as well as Janke, who was the Knights’ top pitcher in 2010 and 2011. Hard-throwing freshman Matt Olson will join the rotation this year with the hopes of giving the Knights four solid arms at the front of the staff. Travis Kretsch, Hemmelman, Weimer, and Dorn will also see time on the mound this season.
For the full conference release with previews on all the teams, click on the link below.