Crookston, Minn.) – The University of Minnesota, Crookston Baseball team opens the 2008 campaign on Thursday, February 28 against Northland College of Ashland, Wis. in Minneapolis, Minn. The first pitch is scheduled for 10:00 pm at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
The Golden Eagles will have a new face in the dugout this season with first-year head coach Chris Vito taking over for long-time U of M, Crookston mentor Steve Olson. “I cannot wait for us to start playing,” says Coach Vito. “We have been in the gym for a long time and the players are ready to see some competition.”
U of M, Crookston will look for steady improvement every game. The Golden Eagles have only two seniors. Matt Morin (Sr, OF, East Grand Forks, Minn.) and Beau Mertens (Sr, RHP/1B, Motley, Minn.) will both be asked to provide leadership. Mertens will see time at first and on the mound while Morin will be called upon for solid play in the outfield and possibly at first base. Other returnees include Shawn Motl (So, 3B/RHP, Staples, Minn.), Kyle Finke (So, 2B, Maple Lake, Minn.), Laudyn Nelson (Jr, RHP/IF, Middle River, Minn.), Brett Wright (So, OF/LHP, Cortland, N.Y.), Lincoln Messner (So, RHP, Winthrop, Minn.), Nick Wright (So, RHP, Grand Forks, N.D.) and Alex Gregor (Fr, 1B/RHP, Shakopee, Minn.).
U of M, Crookston also welcomes several new faces to the program. Transfers include Jeff Carr (So, RHP/OF, Eagle River, Wis.) from UW-Barron County, David Lovly (Jr, OF/RHP, Goodridge, Minn.) and Nate Stark (Jr, OF/RHP, McIntosh, Minn.) from Northland Community and Technical College, Paul Krebs (Jr, OF/RHP, Little Falls, Minn.) and Max Saarinen (So, RHP/OF, Detroit Lakes, Minn.) from Itasca Community College, Tyler Reiner (Jr, C/RHP, Sanborn, Minn.) from Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Jordan Triestram (So, RHP/IF, Shakopee, Minn.) from Dakota Wesleyan University and Kayle Lewellen (Jr, IF/RHP, Forest Lake, Minn.) from Vermilion Community College.
Freshman newcomers include Jake Poehler (Fr, OF/RHP, Coon Rapids, Minn.), Adam Lee (Fr, 2B, Halstad, Minn.), Andrew Duncomb (Fr, C, Hastings, Minn.), Lowell Hanson (Fr, LHP, Two Harbors, Minn.) and Stephen Woods (Fr, OF, Naples, Fla.).
“We have more depth than has been here in the past,” says Coach Vito. “If our pitchers keep the ball down and throw strikes and we play solid defense, we’ll be competitive.”
The Golden Eagles will return to the H.H.H. Metrodome on March 6 for a 9:00 am doubleheader with the University of Wisconsin-Stout and for the inaugural Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) on March 20 and 21. U of M, Crookston will face Bemidji State University in doubleheaders starting at 7:00 pm on the 20th and 10:00 pm on the 21st.
For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Athletics website at www.goldeneaglesports.com.
The University of Minnesota, Crookston is a NCAA Division II Institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). Golden Eagle Hockey is a member of the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association (MCHA). The Golden Eagle Equestrian team is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).