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The Lookout | January 23, 2022

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Baseball team has strength in numbers

Baseball team has strength in numbers
  • On March 19, 2021

By Julie Newell
Associate Editor

Last season’s spring sports were canceled at LCC. This season, the LCC Stars baseball team is excited to be playing again.

“It feels very, very good,” LCC Head Coach Jordan Keur said. “To be off for that long and then to get a season taken away when you work so hard in the fall, it’s pretty devastating. I think it is refreshing and awesome to be back on the field.” 

So far the Stars’ overall record is 4-0.

According to Keur, a lot of players have returned to play this season and many are returning for their third season.

“Mark Connelly is a guy that has been really, really good for us these past years and will be one of our best hitters this year,” Keur said. “And then Blake McRae has been our leadoff hitter last year and this year he’ll hit, obviously, leadoff.”

The returning Star players include: Connelly, McRae, Elliot Patten, George Ferguson, Chase Bessard, Maxwell Hecht, Drew Henig, Ethan Collick, Manny Garza, David Gleaves, Andrew Carson, Calvin Johnston, Kolby Dewhirst, Mitchell White, Brendan Ham, Jace Preston, Ryan Rifenberg, Craig Palidar, Noah Daugherty, Benjamin Riffe, Gavin Bell, Kameron Marnon, Jacob Simmons, Matt Brooks, Christian Guitierrez and Noah Baragar. 

“Pitching-wise, our starters – Andrew Carson, Ryan Steinhauer and George Ferguson – those guys have already signed to Division One (schools),” Keur said. “So those guys are very good for us.”

Along with the many returning players, there are many new players this season.

The newcomers include: Steinhauer, Bryce Dorton, Brenden Tome, Gabe Deboer, Owen Krizan, Brian Ross, Robert Cavin, Shane Juday, Andrew Oehmke, Gehrig Williams, Damon Walton, Hunter Lay, Noah Megyesi, Brendan Beaver and Payton Tamm.

“There’s a lot of expectations for our guys, but I think just pushing them just to get the most out of them and not take anything for granted is the biggest thing,” Keur said.

COVID-19 has caused some challenges for the team. Recently the Stars had to go into lockdown due to a couple players testing positive for the virus.

“We haven’t really had practices as a team as a whole, which has been a challenge in and of itself,” Keur said. “I mean that right there has been very challenging for me as a coach and for them as players. (We have) not really be able to practice a whole lot leading up into our season. So, that’s going to be a huge challenge for us; just to kind of learn as we go and make adjustments as we go.”

According to Keur, having so many returning players has been helpful.

“The beauty of it is, I do have a lot of returning guys, which, in community college, you (usually) don’t,” Keur said. “That’s kind of an unheard of thing. But, with having some three-year guys, it’s been easy to lean on them as a coach and have them kind of lead some of the younger guys along the way.”

Despite the struggles, Keur still has high hopes for the season.

“It’s definitely been a challenge this fall and this winter in this season for our guys, but we’re just happy to be back on the field and compete,” Keur said.

The next game is scheduled for Friday, March 26 at 2 p.m. against Schoolcraft College.