Baseball recruits adding skills to Ichabod roster

corey garriott

The Washburn Ichabod baseball team is still waiting for that new car smell, or maybe it is a new player smell, to wear off.

Either way, Washburn has nine recruits in its ranks from the off-season, four of which started for the team on opening day, who have been enlisted to help drive the team past its 29-25 record from a year ago.

Five are junior college transfers and four are recent high school graduates.

“I feel good about the class and I honestly think they’ve blended in really well with the guys we had returning,” said Steve Anson, Ichabod head baseball coach. “It’s been a good mix.”

Of the starters were Kyle Peter, junior, in center field, Dan Egan, junior, in left field, Zach Walton, junior, at first base, Wes Joy, freshman, at second base and Nathan Proctor, junior, at third base.

“Wes is in a battle for second base with two other guys,” said Anson. “Kyle and Dan have put themselves in a position in the outfield to be frontrunners there. Zach, at first base, has done well. Nathan . . . he’s our guy penciled in at third.”

The other recruits are Danny Cook, freshman pitcher/infielder, Zach Engelken, junior pitcher, Steve Kinderknecht, freshman pitcher/infielder, and Nate Perry, freshman pitcher.

“We are happy to have all of them with us,” said Anson. “There’s a couple we missed on. If we had gotten them with these guys, I thought it was a really good class, but it could’ve been a very, very good class with just the two guys we missed.”

Of the recruits, four can pitch, which was needed with the loss of pitchers Jake Lenherr, Adam Schroeder, Lindsey Prestia, Brett Unrein, Josh Ray and Troy Baird.

“Last year we lost a couple of quality starters on our staff, so that was an area and we felt like we needed to bring in some arms,” said Anson.

One of those is pitcher Kinderknecht, who Anson said he recruited to be a dual-purpose player, kind of like Randy Wild, senior pitcher, is now.

Anson said he thinks the team has the capabilities of being a sound defensive team and the additions to the pitching staff should aid in that.

“Our staff – I feel like it’s solid,” said Anson. “The one thing I do feel like we brought in with the guys we did bring in, were quality arms from the freshmen.”

Even so, it’s the junior college transfers who are getting the early playing time on the field, and that’s no accident.

“Usually, junior college players are going to come in with a little more game experience at this level and game speed,” said Anson. “There’s a big difference between high school and college ball.”

A different kind of speed Anson also looks at is of the roadrunner variety. “Speed kills” is a saying for a reason.

And the poster-child recruit for that is Peter, who had three steals in the two-game opener last Friday. He also had a home run in the first game.

“He’s a guy that can change some things around with his speed,” said Anson. “He’s got probably more speed than anyone I’ve coached. He’s the guy that brings a dimension to the game you just don’t find a lot.”

This week brings many chances to catch the new recruits and returning veterans in action. The Ichabods have seven games scheduled for the week, all at Falley Field, beginning at 3 p.m. with today’s matchup against Minnesota Crookston.