Walking around campus slipping on patches of ice, one begins to hope for the first signs of spring. One of those first signals of warmer times to come is appearing in the form of Washburn baseball.
The 2010 team has some familiar faces coming back as well as a few new players joining the squad. Among those returning are starting shortstop Dane Simoneau, who led the team with five home runs last season. Joining Simoneau in the infield are second baseman Travis Ice and utility man Brian Clark. Spending time behind the plate will be returning catcher Cameron Kasel, who threw out a team high 26 base runners last season. With as much experience as the team is bringing back Washburn is hoping to put up some big offensive numbers this year.
“We’d like to score some more runs this year,” said coach Steve Anson.
Outfielder Thomas Holliday, who was second in batting average with a .318, is the lone returning starter in the outfield that will possibly feature Brian Clark as well as returning backup Vicente Vieyra. The group of newcomers featuring Blake Boling, Kyle Porter and Travis Cruz will also push for playing time this year as well.
The pitching staff will also see six returning starters as well this season. The starting rotation will be led by Danny Cook who started 10 games last year and won five games tying for the team lead in wins. Also coming back is team earned run average leader Dustin Holthaus, who ended the season with a 2.84 ERA as well as tying for the lead in wins at five. In the bullpen Jeremy Heeke, Xavier Lewis, Kalan Norton and Daren Parker also return and give the Ichabods good depth. The staff will also have nine newcomers who will all be vying for time in the rotation as well as out of the bullpen in relief.
“Last year was tough in conference,” said Anson. “The MIAA is a tough conference this year and we will have to work hard to get wins.”