Baseball team heads south for winter

Baseball team heads south for winter

by Krista Schuur

The baseball team will be traveling to warmer climates today as their annual spring trip starts.

The team will be in Ft. Meyers, Fla. this year.

February 1 marked the initial day to legally start baseball practice; and after a month completed, the men are getting ready to head to Florida for their opening games.

The Iowa weather has created a bit of a problem for the practice schedule. After getting a few beneficial practice days in, the winter weather hit again with a recent snowstorm putting a damper on outdoor plans.

“The surface of the gym and the field are very dissimilar, and the ball jumps off each differently causing us to have trouble making the adjustments,” said Head Coach John Sirianni.

According to Sirianni, the trip to Florida should be beneficial in helping the team gain some valuable experience.

With the 2002 team including quite a few freshman and sophomores, they will be young and inexperienced.

The pitching staff has only 3 guys returning that have had past varsity experience, Mike Donnenwerth, Brandon Noerrlinger, and Kyle Lehman.

This causes the team to look for strong leadership from the four senior captains, Brent Delger, Steve Lamberti, Lehman, and Andy Walker.

Some strengths to look for coming into the season will be an abundance of returning position players from last year including, all-conference players Andy Walker and Brent Delger both of which are infielders.

Some other players to watch for are Tony Coppola, Nick Sinn, Scott Sibbel, and Brett Murphy. If these returning players can step up offensively, it will help the young pitching staff.

“If we can score runs early in the games, and our pitching staff matures quickly, we will be very tough to beat,” said Sirianni.

The Storm also has high hopes on their outcome of their season.

“We have talked a lot about what we want to accomplish for this year including winning conference, making it to regionals, and of course the ultimate goal of going to and winning the National tournament,” said Lehman. “One major plus for us is that we all play together well and seem to have a connection as a team.”