Season Preview: Norse Baseball

Season Preview: Norse Baseball

ESCANABA, MI - The Bay College Baseball Team will begin their first ever campaign in Florida on March 9.  Twenty-two players make up the roster for the Norse.

Head Coach Mike Pankow leads a roster that contains 13 players from the Upper Peninsula, four from Lower Michigan, three from Australia, and two from Wisconsin.  Bay competed in seven scrimmages this fall and ended with a 6-1 record in those matchups.

"We showed a lot of depth this fall," said Pankow.  "Our players have competed hard in our scrimmages and our practices and continue to get better.  They have made it very tough to fill out a lineup card every day, with so many of them that need at bats and time in the field and on the mound, it will be a great benefit that we will be able to rotate players and hopefully stay healthier because of it."

The depth shows around the infield for the Norse.  Alex Morehouse (FR, Sugar Island, MI) and Lucas Weinert (FR, Gladstone, MI) will split the majority of innings at third base this season.  First base will be manned by Kyler Moir (FR, Hillman, MI) and Mark Zhang (FR, Canberra, Australia).  Several players will work in the middle of the infield as well, as Jeff Allen (FR, Watervliet, MI), Oliver Dunn (FR, Melbourne, Australia), Alek Santure (FR, Chatham, MI), Ben Schwalbach (SO, Gladstone, MI), and Ty Ziegler (FR, Hortonville, WI) will all contribute.

Nine Norse players will see time in the outfield this season.  That group includes Logan Bailey (FR, Sault Ste. Marie, MI), Jesus Becerra-Rangel (FR, Zacatecats, Mexico), Ryan Clark (FR, Harrison, MI), Owen Hanson (FR, Gladstone, MI), Riley Johnson (FR, Norway, MI), Mason Korhonen (FR, Bark River, MI), Justin Popelka (SO, Escanaba, MI), Tyler Skufca (SO, Escanaba, MI), and Ziegler.

The roster will feature five players that have the capability of catching.  Becerra-Rangel, Flynn Morrison (FR, Melbourne, Australia), Santure, Dane VanDenHeuvel (FR, Norway, MI), and Zhang add an unusual amount of depth to a vital position.

Working with those catchers will be a robust staff of 16 pitchers.  Nine players have trained to either start or have the ability to work in long relief.  Bailey, Garrett Finkbeiner (SO, Marquette, MI), Korhonen, Moir, Olson, Popelka, Skufca, VanDenHeuvel, and Ziegler will contribute in that role.  Clark, Hanson, Jonson, Morehouse, Santure, Schwalbach, and Zhang will work out of the bullpen for the Norse.

"It's been a long road to get to this point, but the guys are ready," said Coach Pankow.  "There is a lot of excitement and optimism around this team after the fall we have had, but the amount of work these young men have put in has been extraordinary.  I think we are all excited to get outside and on a field and represent Bay College for the first time as an NJCAA baseball team."

The Norse will play eleven games in seven days, starting Saturday afternoon.  Games will be played in Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, and Lake Worth, Florida.  The season continues on the road throughout March and early April.  Bay will hope for good weather for their currently scheduled home opener on April 19 when they play host to UW-Eau Claire, Barron County.  The Norse will play a critical set of games in late April and early May against Dakota County Technical College.  The winner of the best-of-seven regular season series will advance to the NJCAA Region XIII Tournament.  The two games at Dakota County on April 27, the first game on April 28, also at Dakota County, and the four games scheduled in Escanaba on May 3 and 4 will make up that series. 

For a complete and updated schedule, and to follow Norse Baseball all season long, go to the "baseball" link on www.baynorse.com.