Goal: Finish over .500
Athletic, smart and well-mannered; it almost sounds too good to be true.
However, that’s just how Buccaneer baseball coach Todd Schmidtke describes his baseball team this year.
The Bucs have just a couple weeks of practice under their belts and Schmidtke already acknowledges a promising start to the season.
“Their goal this season is to be competitive in every game,” he says. “They also want to play together better, as a team.”
They also have the collective goal of finishing the season over .500.
Schmidtke thinks that the 14 players he has on varsity shouldn’t have any problem reaching their team and individual goals.
“We have five seniors returning and they are good baseball players,” he says.
Senior Brandyn Olsen is looking to be the ace this season, beginning the year at the top of the pitching roster.
Olsen ended last year with a 4.0 ERA and was one of three Bucs named to the South Central All-Conference team.
Carter Hanson is starting the season with some injuries including a torn labrum and a herniated disc. He will step in as catcher once his injuries heal.
Hanson was also named an All-SCC player last season.
Dallas Barslou, also a senior, will be a strength in the infield and on the pitching roster.
Reid Rasmussen, who also spent some time on the mound for the Bucs last season, will see some more pitching action this season.
The fifth senior returning for the Bucs is Christian Haugh who will be playing outfield.
There will be nine juniors joining the varsity team as well.
One of those juniors includes David Franta who was a key player for the Bucs last season.
Franta was named to the All-Conference list last year for his success on the mound and as shortstop where he will play again this year.
Seth Anderson is another junior on the team who will be a major player for the Bucs. He is set to play either first or third base.
The returning players bring experience and confidence to the team which should help against the tough match-ups they will encounter this season.
“Maple River, United South Central and Martin County West are some of the toughest non-conference teams we will see,” Schmidtke says.
He adds that all of the teams within the SCC are tough, but New Ulm and Fairmont are always teams to watch out for.
The Bucs were set to face the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers on April 1 and the Maple River Eagles on April 2. However, due to the weather those games have been rescheduled.
“Instead we will be playing Maple River on April 12 and NRHEG on April 19,” Schmidtke says.
The Buc’s coach is hoping that they will be able to play games as scheduled starting Monday, April 8.
If weather allows them to play, the game will be against Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial in Blue Earth at 4:30 p.m.
Schmidtke adds that not only is the team athletic, they are also good students.
“The team has a high GPA, a lot of these kids are 3.5 or higher,” he says. “A few are even maintaining a 4.0.”
So with talent on the field and determination in the classroom, the Bucs are looking at a successful spring.
“We have a really nice group of kids,” Schmidtke says. “I’m looking forward to the season.”