ESCANABA, MI – The Bay College Baseball team is set to begin their season this weekend in Florida in their annual spring break trip. It will be the second season in school history.
Head Coach Mike Pankow talked about his roster makeup heading into their opening week. "I am excited about what we bring to the table this season. Last year we had a talented group that set a strong foundation for the program, and the guys we are bringing back from that group are able to give us valuable experience and leadership that we lacked a year ago. On paper we are much deeper than we were a year ago, it's going to be fun to see how it all plays out on the field."
The Norse roster features nine players that were on that first ever team from a year ago. Kyler Moir (SO, Hillman, MI), Logan Bailey (SO, Sault Ste. Marie, MI), Alex Morehouse (SO, Sugar Island, MI), and Mason Korhonen (SO, Bark River, MI) will return to lead the pitching staff that is well-stocked. Jeff Allen (SO, Watervliet, MI) will see time at second base, Lucas Weinert will continue his role at third base, while Morehouse will look to contribute at shortstop and third base, and Moir continuing to get innings at first base.
Sam McDonald (SO, Traverse City, MI), Riley Johnson (SO, Norway, MI), and Korhonen bring experience to the outfield, while Korhonen will add depth to the catching position along with fellow sophomore returner Dane VanDenHeuvel.
Bay will also look to some transfer players to add more experience and depth to the roster this season. Ben Snyder (SO, Powers, MI) returns to the U.P. after spending a year at The College of Lake County and will figure into the mix on the mound, as a catcher, and could add to the depth at first base and corner outfield positions. Tanner Halvorson (SO, Eau Claire, WI) was a standout athlete in the state of Wisconsin and transfers in from Indian Hills Community College. Tanner had a strong fall for the Norse and will play the outfield when he is not pitching.
The 2020 Norse Baseball team welcomes 17 freshmen to the mix this season. Carson Shea (Gladstone, MI), Joseph Delgado (Saginaw, MI), Dan Harrington (Iron Mountain, MI), Jared Crow (Gladstone, MI), Ernesto Gomez (Dominican Republic), and Sam Schneider (Cheboygan, MI) all look to add to the infield group. David Ibn Ezra (Tel Aviv, Israel), Richard Wayka (Keshena, WI), Scotty Adams (Orillia, ON), Matt Richer (Bark River, MI), Mike Campbell (Minocqua, WI), Jackson Bower (Bark River, MI), CJ Bolo (Ironwood, MI), and Jake LaFave (Escanaba, MI) will list outfield as their primary positions, adding much needed depth there. Tyler Walcher (Sault Ste. Marie, MI), Shaw Bowser (Toronto, ON), Nicolas Goebert (Werl, Germany), Delgado, Wayka, Adams, Crow, Shea, Richer, Campbell, Bower, Bolo, LaFave, and Schneider are all ready to contribute from the mound, creating a deep pitching staff that will get tested in the opening week.
"We brought in an exciting new group this season," continued Pankow. "From guys that have prior college experience, which is invaluable, to a talented crop of freshmen, the group we have added to those sophomores will make for a fun team to watch this season. Baseball in the U.P. is strong and has given us a fantastic base to work with, and the guys we have brought in from outside the area are being welcomed with open arms."
The Norse open their season in Fort Pierce, Florida with 12 games in seven days. A schedule that will test the pitching staff according to Pankow. "I really thought our staff was our strength a year ago, but it lacked depth at times. This year we are going to test that depth even more than we did at this time last year, so time will tell if we have done our job there."
The Norse open up their season on March 7 with a 3:30 pm first pitch against the University of Northwestern (MN). They will play later that night against Washington College. Both of those games are scheduled to be broadcast on RRN Radio. The week continues on with multiple games on every day except for Sunday, March 8, and "get away day" on March 13, when they end the week with University of Northwestern (MN) before getting on the bus to head back north.
The season continues with stops in Mauston, WI, Austin, MN, and Milwaukee, WI before Bay heads to Rosemount, MN for the start of a big series with Dakota County Technical College on April 10 and 11. Those days will be the start of a seven-game series with DCTC, and the winner of the series will earn a spot in the Region 13 Tournament. The first three games of the series in at Wells Sports Complex on April 25 and 26 will be the culmination of that series. The Norse schedule also currently features day trips to Marian University on April 8 and Ripon College on April 14.
"I am excited to see what this season holds," continued Pankow. "The schedule is not complete at this point, so hopefully there is more to add, but what we have already is a competitive slate of games that should prepare us well for the Region Play-In games. Preparation went well, the boys are ready for this Florida trip. Outside of a few late injuries and some illness on the team, the practices leading up to this trip couldn't have gone much better."
For a complete schedule, and for the most up-to-date results, schedule changes, and information, go to www.baynorse.com or follow Bay Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.