Logger baseball fights for nationals qualification

Ryan Scott, Lamp staff

There are high expectations this season for the Lincoln Land baseball team. The hope for the team is to get back to the National Championship in 2019, and stop a near two-decade drought since their last National Championship in 2000.

The Loggers opened the season with a 2-1 start against the College of DuPage in Springfield at the SHG field. They won the doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 22, but fell in a high-scoring Game 3 on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Ron Riggle, head coach, said they had too many errors and couldn’t get enough outs in the Saturday loss against DuPage. The team made pitching changes and substitutions during the first couple games of the season. Riggle continued on that he had pitchers on a pitch count and wanted everyone to get a chance to play.

To begin their 9-game Florida road trip, the Loggers would blow out Delta College. They played their last game in Florida on March 10 as part of the Russ Matt Tournament. They beat Lakeland (from Ohio) 14-2.

With the frigid Midwest weather affecting the beginning of the season, the team must prepare indoors for the season, Riggle said. They practice all of the fundamentals that they can, but they can’t do full scrimmage practices inside.

Freshman Graham Bender and sophomore Bryce Torricelli said the fall baseball season was a big help in preparing for the spring season.

“It gave me and the rest of the freshmen a taste of what college baseball is about and allowed the upperclassmen to get back into the groove of things,” Bender said. “Coach Riggle has the same expectations for freshmen as he does for sophomores because they have already had the fall season to get out of high school mode and into the college baseball season.  So by the time the spring season begins they should be as prepared as the sophomores for the season.”

Before departing for the Florida trip, Torricelli said,

“They are playing well together but there is always room for improvement.”

Ryan Scott can be reached at [email protected].