The Defiance College Baseball team has been preparing for yet another season this spring, in hopes of winning a conference championship. Falling short last year, the team has been preparing since the end of last season with the idea of a conference championship in sight. The Jackets finished 18-22 last year, and finished sixth in conference play with a record of of 11-16.
The Jackets were picked preseason in the HCAC to finish 7th. They have not been taking this to heart, and using it as motivation to only compete more. The Jackets have went through a rigorous fall season, along with 6 am mental toughness workouts that included board pushes, tire flips, swimming relays, van pushes, and the Tour Defiance. They also went onto a 4 day a week offseason lifting program, along with the pitchers on a very specific weighted baseball throwing program.
For this season, there are high hopes. The Jackets are led by nine seniors this year, including four players who were able to receive All HCAC accolades last season. DC has an extremely experienced starting pitching staff, that is led by three seniors, Dave Blanch, Nick Peters, and Nick Watkins. The outfield is being anchored by Tanner Stippich, Quinten Harrington, and Zack Reed, all who saw adequate time last year. The infield will be led by sophomore Micheal Gilliland, with returners like Tyler Weaver, Mac Edwards, Nick Watkins, and Troy Konwinski fighting for innings.
DC also has a new coach on staff, 2015 graduate Joel Musser. Musser has hit the ground running in his coaching position, designing workout programs, throwing programs, and working individually with anyone who needs the help. Musser is extremely excited about getting starting with his former team, and stated in an interview, “I know we have the talent to have a great season but we have to play the right way. We have big senior class that has played a lot of games and hopefully that experience will benefit us.”
Coach Musser is not the only one with big expectations and excitement for the upcoming season. Senior pitcher and third basemen Nick Watkins had this to say during a short interview, “I want the team to reach the conference tournament and ultimately host it as well. Last year, we were very close to beating our single season record for wins, and it would be great to break that. We have a lot of upside returning 9 seniors. Ultimately, we need to go one game at a time, and our goal as seniors is to leave the program better than we came in.”
The Jackets start off their season against Centre this upcoming weekend before their annual spring trip to Ft. Myers, Florida. DC baseball appreciates any type of support, especially from the campus community. If you see a DC baseball player, wish them luck in their upcoming season, and do not forget to come out and support.
Written by Zachary Bires