Contact: Chris Vito - Assistant Sports Information Director - (218)281-8445
(Crookston, Minn.)- The University of Minnesota, Crookston Baseball team opens the 2010 season on Friday, February 5 when they play a non-conference doubleheader against Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) foe Bemidji State University in Minneapolis, Minn. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
Golden Eagle Head Coach Chris Vito enters his third season at the helm. U of M, Crookston finished the 2009 campaign with an overall record of 7-42 and NSIC record of 3-29. The Golden Eagles recorded wins over St. Cloud State University and Southwest Minnesota State University both of whom were nationally ranked at the time.
"We are anxious to see where we are at as a team," says Coach Vito. "Like last season, it is an early start, but it will give us a chance to see what areas we really need to address. We are extremely young with 15 freshmen and sophomores. So we will be expecting contributions from our lower classes sooner than later."
Top returning players for U of M, Crookston include Devin Croal (So, IF, Coon Rapids, Minn.) who led the team in hitting as a freshman last season. Croal hit .345 (60-for-174) with 27 runs batted in. He also had 18 extra base hits and 32 runs scored while starting all 47 games he played in. Also returning is Casey Woodside (So, C, Albert Lea, Minn.) who hit .277 (39-for-141) with 27 runs batted in and 22 runs scored. On the hill, the Golden Eagles will look to Steve Schroer (So, RHP, Coon Rapids, Minn.) to anchor their staff. Schroer finished the 2009 campaign with a record of 1-3 with one save and a 3.90 earned run average. He recorded 26 strikeouts before an injury ended his season.
"Even though we are primarily a younger team, I will be looking for strong leadership from our five seniors," says Coach Vito. "I am counting on them to set a positive tone for the underclassmen to follow and to make strong contributions." U of M, Crookston's seniors are Teddy Gutman (Sr, OF/DH, Burlington, Iowa), David Lovly (Sr, OF, Goodridge, Minn.), Max Saarinen (Sr, LHP/OF, Detroit Lakes, Minn.), Jordan Triestram (Sr, RHP, Shakopee, Minn.) and Nick Zawacki (Sr, RHP, Howell, Mich.).
Golden Eagles vs. Bemidji State University (2) Friday, February 5 7 p.m.
Coach Tim Bellew and his Bemidji State University squad finished the 2009 season with an overall record of 17-36 and NSIC record of 8-22. The Beavers are led by Josh Silvernagel (SS/RHP) who hit .294 (47-for-160) over 50 games with 13 runs batted in and finished 3-1 on the hill with a 6.14 earned run average and nine strikeouts. Ryan Sander (1B/RHP) hit .330 (29 for 88) with 16 runs batted in for the Beavers over 29 games. Sander also had a 2-5 record on the mound with a 5.36 earned run average and 18 strikeouts.
For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Athletics Web site at http://www.goldeneaglesports.com/.
The University of Minnesota, Crookston is a NCAA Division II Institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). The Golden Eagle Equestrian team is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).