Spartan baseball playing waiting gamePoor field conditions force postponement of Saturday’s DH with Eau Claire North
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
Superior High School baseball coach Don Dembroski is excited about the upcoming season with a roster that includes eight returning seniors.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, and when the season eventually begins is up in the air.
Saturday’s home doubleheader with Eau Claire North has already been postponed, and Thursday’s home game with the Spooner Rails is also in jeopardy.
“We should have the experience to compete at the varsity level but haven’t even been on a field yet,” Dembroski said. “We’re hoping to duplicate our solid defense from last year but make improvements with our offense and of course our pitching.”
Returning from a team that went 9-11 last season are seniors Spencer Severson, Grant Rindal and Nik Mattson. All three were second-team selections on the Lake Superior All-Conference team.
Rindal, last season’s Superior Telegram Player of the Year, anchors Superior’s pitching staff. He had a record of 6-3 last season with 76 strikeouts, 13 walks and a 1.24 ERA.
Rounding out the staff are Severson, Mattson, Dane Sislo, Taavi Mattson, Clayton Yeazle and Erick Anderson.
“With the kind of spring that is unfolding, it is very likely we will have four or five games in a given week, so we’ll need all the arms we can get,” Dembroski said.
In the field, Jordan Hughes and Sislo return to the outfield with valuable experience from last year; Rindal, Severson and Andy Glonek return to the infield; and Nik Mattson is the team’s primary catcher.
“After that we have many other players, some with experience, competing for positions,” Dembroski said. “A lot will depend on who is pitching that particular day and who is hitting the ball.”
Other players battling for playing time this spring include Colton Yepma, Yeazle, Anderson, Taavi Mattson and Will Mullens. In addition, sophomores competing for varsity time are Jake Libal, Austin Arnovich, Sean O’Neill, Peyton Flanders and Logan Griffith.
“It is really too early to tell how regular playing time will shake out this spring,” Dembroski said. “Everybody on our roster is getting a chance to compete at practice daily and we’ll see what happens.”
Severson led the Spartans offensively last season, batting .338 (25-for-74). His 25 hits and 13 RBIs were team highs. He also scored 10 runs and hit four doubles.
Nik Mattson batted .309 (21-for-68) with eight RBIs and 15 runs scored. Sislo batted .286 (12-for-42) with 11 RBIs and five doubles and Hughes knocked in 10 runs.
SPARTAN SPIN: The Spartans actually had a record of 11-9 last season (2-4-1 in the LSC), but had to forfeit two wins at Chippewa Falls because of an illegal player. … The SHS junior varsity was 6-12 last season. … Dembroski has an overall record of 143-130-1 as he begins his 14th season as Superior’s head coach. … Superior lost its playoff opener last year at River Falls, 3-2. … This year’s team managers are Kyleigh Barker, Elizabeth Eccle, Alyssa Fredricks, Pat Built and Ellen Stromgren. … Key players lost from last year’s team are Ryan Myhre, who is currently at St. Cloud State, and senior Trent Olson, who elected to not play baseball this season.
2013 SHS Baseball Roster
Andy Glonek, Jordan Hughes, Nik Mattson, Grant Rindal, Spencer Severson, Dane Sislo, Clayton Yeazle, Colton Yepma.
Erick Anderson, Taavi Mattson, Will Mullens.
Austin Arnovich, Sean O’Neill, Peyton Flanders, Jake Libal, Logan Griffith, Nate Kunkel, Tyler Lehikoinen, Brandon Moe, Nick Hesselgrave, Morgan Moen.
Brett Austin, Hunter Hockenbrock, Tate Sclichting, Austin Slaviero, Josh Tomczak, Evan Willoughby, Beau Reder, Matt Strum, Evan Hughes, Alex Kaske.
2013 SHS Baseball Schedule
Sat., April 6 home vs. E.C. North (ppd)
Thur., April 11 vs. Spooner, 4:30 p.m.
Mon., April 15 vs. Herm., 4:30 p.m.
Sat., April 20 vs. Menomonie (2), noon
Mon., April 22 vs. Cloquet, 4:30 p.m.
Tue., April 23 at Duluth East, 5 p.m.
Thur., April 25 at E.C. Mem., 5 p.m.
Tue., April 30 at Denfeld, 4:30 p.m.
Thur., May 2 vs. Marshall, 4:30 p.m.
Sat., May 4 vs. Chip. Falls (2), 11 a.m.
Tue., May 7 vs. Proctor, 4:30 p.m.
Fri., May 10 vs. Ashland (2), 4 p.m.
Tue., May 14 at Gr. Rapids, 4:30 p.m.
Thur., May 16 vs. New Rich., 4:30 p.m.
Fri., May 7 Hibbing Wood Bat
Sat., May 8 Hibbing Wood Bat
Tue., May 21 at Northwestern, 5 p.m.
Thur., May 23 vs. Duluth East, 4:30 p.m.
Tue., May 28 WIAA Regional