Experience, leadership to define Duhawk baseball this spring

After a new offseason conditioning program, a new pitching strategy, another year of experience, and much personal growth, the baseball team is ready to put last year’s disappointing season behind them.

From talking with the team captains and Head Coach Carl Tebon, the Duhawks are exuding confidence and can’t wait to take the field.

Compared to previous years, there are two qualities that set this team apart: experience and leadership.

In terms of experience, the Duhawks have 11 returning seniors, including seven pitchers and four position players. This doesn’t include the aid of a senior student manager. Having this much experience, especially on the mound, will help the Duhawks maintain composure in high pressure situations.

Tebon commends the seniors for “pushing the team.”

“(This leaves us with) a great opportunity to win and finish games,” said Tebon.

There is also a new energy at practice. Hopefully the team will be able to use this positive momentum to meet the expectations of the season.

“Take at least two games from every series, if not sweep,” said senior captain and first baseman Ryan Koester about expectations for the team. “Bring home a conference title.”

With experience comes leadership. This will help this year’s Duhawk baseball team.

“Having a big group of seniors is a huge plus,” said senior captain and starting right fielder Danny Weis. “I would consider our entire senior class to be solid leaders and role models for the younger guys. We are all hungry to get back to the conference tournament, and we put a big emphasis on that all offseason.”

This leadership quality may have been lacking in years past, with the team starting to unravel at different times in the season. Fortunately, with the structured offseason, the rapport established between teammates, and their belief in each other, one can hope great things will come from the team this year.

The past weekend, the Duhawks played their first games of the season in Jacksonville, IL. The games were individual contests against MacMurray, Elmhurst, Lawrence and Blackburn.  After winning against MacMurray 8-0, Lawrence 5-3 and Blackburn 8-1, the Duhawks couldn’t keep their streak going, as they lost to Elmhurst 13-2.

Overall, the weekend was a success. The Duhawks, led by their senior-heavy pitching staff, came out with a 3-1 record, heading into their annual Florida trip that starts Thursday against St. Joseph’s College.

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