Tiger baseball ready for new season
The Morris Area / Chokio-Alberta Tigers baseball team hit the field for a new season, starting practice on Monday, March 17.
Though the Tigers graduated eight of their WCC championship team last season, baseball is more about cuts and experience, not exactly varsity experience per se, so Coach Torgerson isn’t as nervous coming into this season as he was about this years basketball season.
“Experience wise, we have a lot of guys back,” Torgerson said. “Varsity cuts, we maybe have two or three, but the fact that a lot of our juniors coming up are guys that played VFW ball over the summer really helps a lot.”
There are 42 boys out for baseball in grades 9-12, enough for 14 players on each A, B, and C squad– a very good bench to have during some gruesome weeks.
“Those are nice numbers,” coach Torgerson said. “Once junior high gets started, I bet we’ll have close to 20 out for seventh and eighth grade, of each maybe, we usually have a lot of younger kids come out. It’s really nice to see.”
Senior Corey Storck will debut as a catcher this season, and top pitchers for the Tigers will be Bryce Jergenson, Noah Grove, and Riley Biesterfeld. Sophomores in contention to pitch for varsity are Trent Marty, Seth Staples, and Sean Amundson.
“We only have three or four varsity pitchers, but we have a nice group of sophomores that could potentially fill in if we needed them,” Torgerson said.
Coach Torgerson believes that defensively MA/C-A is sharp. Offensively, on the other hand, the Tigers show some concern.
“Our defense is pretty sharp for this early in the year. I am more concerned about how we’re going to hit,” Torgerson said. “We haven’t had a lot of varsity cuts besides Bryce. Bryce, Corey, and Gage [Bachman] all have some experience hitting varsity pitching, and these other guys have played a lot of baseball. We’re working really hard on our hitting.”
Coach Torgerson hopes to stay in contention as the defending conference champs this season.
“It’ll be quite a task because other teams in the conference have more returning varsity players than we do, but at the same time, these kids have played a lot of baseball in the summer,” Torgerson said. “I kind of look at it as a challenge for us.”
Helping out in assistant duties and coaching the B-squad is Jim Greenwaldt. Joe Boedigheimer is coaching the ninth grade team, and volunteers include Don Goracke, Kirby Marquart, and UMM students Jim Paskett and Jason Hodson. Also, senior UMM student Phil Wolney will be coaching the eighth grade team, and Andrew Jipson is the coach for the seventh graders.
Weather permitting, the Tigers’ home opener is Thursday, April 10 against BOLD. The first pitch is at 5 p.m. at Chizek Field.